After the Fall

15 September 2017 - Prof Deon Rossouw

How to deal with ethical failure in organisations

Moral infallibility is a myth. As individuals, we all make ethical judgement errors and act unethically at times. If this is true of individuals, it is even more true of organisations. Organisations are complex systems, and we should therefore not be surprised when organisations commit ethical failures.

Although both individuals and organisations are likely to be involved in ethical failures from time to time, this should not lead us to conclude that ethical failures are excusable. They are not. They might be understandable in some cases, but they are not excusable.

Read more ...

White Collar Courage

13 September 2017

First-of-its kind survey reveals many professionals in South Africa do stand up for what is right

The image of the so-called “white collar” criminal is one with which we are all familiar: the corrupt businessperson with fingers crossed behind their back, who knows just where to find the loop holes in the bureaucratic system that make it easy to hide illicit dealings. How much does it happen in reality in South Africa? To what extent are professionals engaging in unethical practices at work? And how comfortable do the “good ones” feel in calling out wrongdoing?

Read more ...

Restoring Trust Beyond State Capture

28 August 2017

Prof Deon Rossouw describes the three critical qualities that organisations ‘tainted’ by state capture must demonstrate to regain the trust of society.

Ethics is a precondition for safe, just, and prosperous societies. If ethics is not embedded in society and in organisations, the inevitable result is a breakdown not only of prosperity, justice and safety, but also of trust. We saw this happening to South Africa under Apartheid, and we are seeing it now again with state capture.

Read more ...

Koko Matter has Lessons for Directors and Execs

Joint statement from the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa and The Ethics Institute | 25 July 2017

Eskom’s decision to pursue disciplinary action against its suspended acting-CEO, Matshela Koko, raises important governance and ethical issues that directors and executives should consider carefully, say Parmi Natesan, Executive: Centre for Corporate Governance at the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa (IoDSA) and Professor Deon Rossouw, CEO of The Ethics Institute (TEI).

Read more ...

Taking a Deeper Look into Local Government

There is a protest against a municipality almost every second day in South Africa. The dissatisfaction expressed by communities through these (increasingly violent) protests largely relates to service delivery. 

Thobile Madonsela, Associate Subject Matter Expert (SME) with The Ethics Institute (TEI) shares some of her thoughts on what some of the causes might be.
Read more ...

Ethics and Compliance Handbook Launched at 7th Ethics Conference

The Ethics Institute (TEI) in partnership with the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) in the United Kingdom, launched its latest publication, entitled The Ethics and Compliance Handbook, today at its seventh Annual Conference.

Read more ...

Survey to provide insight into the 'state-of-ethics' in SA

The Anti-intimidation and Ethical Practices Forum (AEPF) has recently launched their first Ethics Perceptions Survey. This survey is designed to measure the perceptions of professionals regarding ethics in South African society, professions, and organisations.

Read more ...

Why ANC members should vote their conscience in the no-confidence motion

As part of the dramatic about-turn that ANC officials opposed to the President’s cabinet reshuffle made on Wednesday 5 April, the Secretary-General of the ANC announced that Members of Parliament will oppose the motion of no-confidence in the President on 18 April. As part of his media briefing, he said that “no army general can allow his forces to be commanded by the enemy forces”. He made it clear that “No ANC member will vote on a motion of the opposition”

Read more ...

Leadership commitment to ethics: A case study

Building an ethical culture in an organisation starts with the leadership of the organisation. Without strong and clear leadership commitment, any attempt to introduce an ethics management programme is doomed to failure. The positioning of leadership commitment within TEI’s framework for the governance of ethics is depicted in the figure below.

Read more ...

Is Zuma immune to moral appeals?

Former President Motlanthe resurrected Ahmed Kathrada’s appeal to Zuma to step down as President of the country when he read Kathrada’s letter at his funeral. It was clear from the response of the overwhelming majority who attended Kathrada’s funeral, that his moral appeal to Zuma was widely shared.  Zuma’s response – or rather his lack of response – came as no surprise.

Read more ...

Everybody should just do what they are supposed to do.

In light of the recent SASSA debacle, Kris Dobie reread King IV and suggests that CPS could do well to do the same. Around the dark cloud of poor judgement, he also finds a silver (or at least light Gray) lining. 

Read more ...

Big Data and Business Ethics


How did Walmart know to dispatch extra strawberry Pop Tarts to their stores in the path of Hurricane Sandy? How did public health officials gain an understanding of Ebola’s extent throughout the region? The short answer to these questions is: Big Data analytics.

Read more ...