Nike exploited children to make their products: this is an unethical behavior. Nowadays, the business environment is extremely competitive and companies want to be more and more profitable. Employees in both small and large business can face difficult ethical dilemmas in South Africa as well as internationally.
According to the 2002 Transparency International corruption perception index listed Africa as the most corrupt continent.
To compete internationally and to have a better reputation, South Africa knows that every business, regardless of the size needs to provide knowledge and resources to help employees act ethically.
First of all, we have to define the terms ethics and ethical behavior. "Ethic concerns itself with what is good or right in human interaction" (Rossouw, 2002), ethics involves the study of moral issues and choices. This is one of the thousands of definitions of a field.
Jacobus and Lazenby define an ethical behavior as principles of conduct that distinguish between the wrong and the right behavior.
Even if this subject has been for long time a philosophical topic, the field of business ethics has been growing in recent years as both an academic course of study in business schools across the globe and as social behavior.
According to Goosen in her article, businesses have much to gain if they have a reputation of corporate governance based on ethical behavior. Indeed, they will be able to attract investors from whom good corporate governance is a major consideration as well as new customers and will be a preferred employer for people that perceive themselves as having the capacity to thrive in an ethical environment. That is why South African companies decided to improve ethical behavior in their organization.
[...] The Future of Business Ethics in Africa. Journal of business Ethics. Volume 16, no.14. ►Chanlat, A. et R. Bédard La gestion, une affaire de parole , dans J.F. Chanlat et al. (dir.), L'individu dans l'organisation, les dimensions oubliées, Eska, Presses de l'Université de Laval. ►Courrent J-M Éthique et petite entreprise. Dossier num 144. [Online] Available from : http://www.cairn.info/revue-francaise-de-gestion-2003-3-page-139.htm ►Deloitte & Touche USA LLP Ethics & Workplace Survey Results: the critical balance. Relationship between work-life balance and ethical behaviour [Online] Available from http://www.deloitte.com/dtt/article/0,1002,sid%253D171726%2526cid%253D191011 ,00.html ►Dordrecht .1992.The Challenge of Ethical Behaviour in Organizations. [...]
[...] Gender: According to different studies, we can't say that gender is related to employees' reporting wrongdoing however, we can say that men and women view differently moral problems and situations. According to Gillian, C. a well known psychologist, males perceived moral problems in terms of a justice perspective. It is a perspective based on the ideal of reciprocal rights and driven by rules and regulations. However, woman relied on a care perspective. This perspective involves compassion and an ideal of attention and response to need. Loo (2003:170) according to different studies explains that in general, women act more ethically than man. [...]
[...] The Cadbury Report (Committee on the Financial Aspects of Corporate Governance) was published in December 1992 with a further Financial Reporting Council study in June 1995. Then, from 2000 to 2004, a series of well-publicized scandals among major organizations, beginning with Enron, have affected the global business environment. That is why; new regulations were created such as the second King Report on Corporate Governance (2002) in South Africa. The regulations are based on conduct and organizational standards and practices. The main goal of this report is to encourage companies to create a culture of ethics by instituting a core of set of ethical principles. [...]
[...] Executive Summary Ethics involves the study of moral issues. Nowadays, business ethics is a key element in organization all over the world. Organizations encourage their employees to act more and more ethically. To influence them, they use different tools in the organization. Ethical codes must be very well communicated and well understood by the organization's employees in order to be effective. However, these codes are hard to institutionalize. That is why, organizational culture plays a large part in ethical behavior. [...]
[...] Literature study 2.1 Internal organizational influences Ethical codes The trend of ethics is a new concept and sometimes this principle is not clearly written down in the organizational culture. For this reason companies also decided to create ethical codes as the company Old Mutual in South Africa. Every South African organization should have a code of conduct also called a code of ethics; it is the first step to encourage employees to be more ethical. It should define a code of conduct to guide employees' actions, but also corporate practices addressing diversity, harassment, the use of corporate property, the fair treatment of staff and the use of illegal drugs or alcohols for example. [...]
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