|Honesty - Frank Navran|
From Noah Brooks’ Abraham Lincoln
“In managing the country store, as in everything that he undertook for others, Lincoln did his very best. He was honest, civil, ready to do anything that should encourage customers to come to the place, full of pleasantries, patient, and alert. On one occasion, finding late at night, when he counted over his cash, that he had taken a few cents from a customer more than was due, he closed the store, and walked a long distance to make good the deficiency. At another time, discovering on the scales in the morning a weight with which he had weighed out a package of tea for a woman the night before, he saw that he had given her too little for her money. He weighed out what was due, and carried it to her, much to the surprise of the woman, who had not known that she was short in the amount of her purchase.”
|Respect - Frank Navran|
We all talk about respect. For a vast number of organizations “respect” is one of their avowed core values. Along with honesty, integrity, fairness, compassion, courage, and accountability it is one of the values cited by my own organization . Yet, too often, we presume to know what “respect” means without exercising the discipline to properly define our behavioral expectations for those we lead: what we expect them to do - how we expect them to act.
|We must overcome narrow self-interest - Deon Rossouw|
In Business we are in need of a much more inclusive capitalism. Across industries, but also within businesses, we need an approach to business success that will consider the interests of all stakeholders. No system can be sustained whilst the interests of some key stakeholders are systematically excluded or harmed.
The moral duty to overcome narrow self-interest seems to be a cornerstone of the National Development Plan 2030, that was embraced by the ANC at its Mangaung Congress. This plan calls for a social compact in which all players in society will join hands in pursuit of a fair and prosperous society.
|Off the Wall Ethics - Frank J Navran|
I was invited to meet with the VP HR. As I approached their suburban headquarters I was impressed. The building was a gleaming new structure in a very modern office park. I was even more impressed when I entered the lobby – a three-storey, glass-ceilinged atrium – decorated with huge banners hanging from the dome in the colors of the rainbow. Each banner proclaimed a core value – Integrity, Honesty, Respect, Fairness and Accountability.
|Empowering Employees to Excell|
The word empowerment has been gaining currency in management circles for the last several years. In this paper we will define empowerment in a different context. We argue that employee empowerment is an inappropriate focus. Employees are already empowered. The need in business today is to direct that power towards the accomplishment of the employing organization's goals and objectives.
|Gifts in the Public Service – The need for greater clarity and active management|
EthicsSA was recently invited to participate in a roundtable discussion on the ‘Management and receipt of gifts in the Public Service’, hosted by the Public Service Commission (PSC). It has long been known that the current Public Service rules on this issue are contradictory.
|The Power of Professionalism|
That is the power of professionalization and illustrate why so many organizational “functions” are adopting the accouterments of the traditional professions – including a Code of Ethics, professional certification and continuing education.
|Blowing the Whistle on corruption|
Each year Transparency International (TI) publishes a report entitled the "Corruption Perceptions Index" (CPI) which scores the world's nations out of ten for their public sector honesty. The results of the December 2011 report indicate that the integrity of people in authority in nearly all of the world's countries, is still sadly lacking. This includes South Africa, where corruption had become a wide-spread phenomenon. Out of 182 countries, South Africa is ranked 64th, together with Georgia.
|Newtonian Ethics - Frank J Navran|
Sir Isaac Newton is well recognized as one of the greatest theoretical physicists of all time. I'm not certain whether anyone has ever considered him an equally prominent social scientist. Perhaps it is time we reconsidered his contribution to the way we do our work in the world of organizational leadership. And, to take it a step further, as a thought leader in the area of ethical leadership.
In its recently released Diagnostic Overview, the National Planning Commission (NPC) identified corruption as one of the nine major factors that prevents South Africa from alleviating poverty and inequality and from achieving the objectives of the South African Constitution.
|A Culture of Respect|
“If he were any dumber, we’d have to water him twice a week.”
The first time I heard it I laughed. Same thing the second time – but there was an aftertaste of unease. It’s a funny line, but what if someone actually thought or said that about a colleague or coworker? I understand what it says about the object of the observation, but what does that say about the person speaking or thinking those words? Would I want a person capable of saying that to or about a colleague working in my company? Would I want to work for a company that fostered or tolerated that level of disrespect for colleagues, suppliers, competitors or clients?
|ISO 26000 – Standard on the Implementation of Social Responsibility in an organisation|
Each organisation is part of the society in which it operates and increasingly an organisation’s performance in and impact on this society has become more critical. Awareness amongst stakeholders regarding environmental and social issues, corporate scandals, more stringent regulations and investor demands all put pressure on organisations to critically look at their impact on the environment and the society.
|New UK Bribery Act to have impact around the world|
On 1 July 2011 a new Bribery Act became effective in the United Kingdom. This new UK Bribery Act, which has already been described as "the toughest anti-corruption legislation in the world", is likely to have an impact on business around the world.
|ALTRON SOCIAL AND ETHICS COMMITTEE|
MANDATE AND TERMS OF REFERENCE OF SOCIAL AND ETHICS COMMITTEE
|Social and ethics committees are required by the new Companies Act|
The Companies Act (no.71 of 2008), as well as the Companies Amendment Act (no. 3 of 2011), came into effect on 1 May 2011. These acts have to be read together.
The Act has elicited much discussion and some confusion. One area that has been receiving attention is the new requirement for social and ethics committees. The Act stipulates (in section 72(4)) that the Minister may pass regulations requiring of certain companies to put social and ethics committees in place.
|Ethics Officers and Social and Ethics Committees - Quo Vadis|
The observance and application of ethics within the business world is not something new. For as long as mankind has been living in groups, the moral regulation of behaviour has been necessary for the group’s wellbeing. The ancient Greeks recognised principles or standards of human conduct (ethika) while the Romans coined the concept of ‘mores’ from which morals and customs evolved (see Fox – A Guide to Public Ethics).
It is generally accepted that ethical behaviour results when one does not merely consider what is good for oneself, but also considers what is good for others.
|It all starts with values|
Recently the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) launched its Vision 2050 project. Vision 2050 (available at www.wbcsd.org) is described as a view of the world “in which the global population is not just living on the planet, but living well and within the limits of the planet”.
|The ethics of end-of-life medical care|
In August 1999, the South African Law Commission (SALC) published its second report on end-of-life decisions. Acting on the instruction of then President Nelson Mandela, the SALC extensively investigated international legal and ethical developments regarding the treatment of terminally ill patients. It looked at pain management, terminal sedation, withholding and withdrawal of life support, advance directives (living will and durable healthcare power of attorney), physician-assisted suicide, and voluntary euthanasia.
|Business Principles for countering bribery|
According to a Transparency International (TI) survey many companies are adopting anti-bribery policies to address these concerns, but their implementation is often incomplete and a challenge for many. TI and Social Accountability International developed Business Principles for Countering Bribery in 2003 and 2009 which aim to encourage companies to develop anti-bribery codes or policies. These Business Principles, which are based on a commitment to fundamental values of integrity, transparency and accountability, are:
The enterprise shall prohibit bribery in any form whether direct or indirect
The enterprise shall commit to implementing a Programme* to counter bribery
*An organisation’s anti-bribery efforts or programme includes its organisational values, Code of Ethics, detailed policies and procedures, risk management, internal and external communication, training and guidance, internal controls, oversight, monitoring and assurance.
An organisation should design and implement its anti-bribery programme to address all areas at risk from bribery.
|The Psychology Of Fraud - Why Good People Do Bad Things|
Even if we didn’t suspect it, the data confirms that fraud is prevalent in organizations that surround us. Using data from the Ethics Resource Center derived from their National Business Ethics Survey, National Government Ethics Survey, and National Nonprofit Ethics Survey, we are left with no choice but to conclude that fraud remains a problem.
|Board of Directors Ethics Training... Who needs it? Frank J Navran|
The CFOs AA asked you to provide clerical back-up during a meeting between the CFO and two members of the Audit Committee of the Board. This is your first visit to the C-Suite and you are impressed with the rich wood paneling, deep pile carpets and the quiet air of power and authority. While you are doing some routine filing at the AA's desk the two Board members walk by, deep in conversation. Without meaning to listen in, you overheard them discussing a decision not to report a financial problem to the whole Board. What you heard was, "...and since the auditors didn't find it, no sense us reporting it. It would just stir things up. If it comes back to haunt us we can always blame them. The way I see it, as of today, no harm, no foul". They didn't even notice you. Later, you described what you heard to the AA and asked what you should do. Her reply: "Whatever they said was not meant for our ears. We are there to provide them with admin support, not monitor their discussions. They are the Board. We have to trust that they know what they are doing."
|Debunking the Myths regarding Tone at the Top - Frank J Navran|
There are any number of myths in the workplace that create false expectations and misunderstandings regarding the role of leaders in creating what we have come to call an ethical culture or ethical climate.
|The Psychology of Roadblocks - Frank J Navran|
A Workshop Module for Those Intent of Creating Change Through Training
|Before there can be betrayal, there must be trust - Frank J Navran|
In today's tumultous economic environment a lot is being said about "trust". Ought we have trusted lenders to reasonably assess borrower's ability and willingness to repay loans?
|Becoming a valuable resource to your board - Frank Navran|
Steps to successfully navigate the new relationship between ethics & compliance officers and their board of directors
|The need for other-directed ethics as embodied in a Code of Ethics - Liezl Groenewald|
Why does an organisation need a Code of Ethics? Are we not all born as moral beings with sufficient moral intelligence, with no or little need for further moral education?
|Some thoughts on etiquitte and ethics in golf - Willem Landman & Praveen Naidoo|
We found the following amusing golfing story about former US President, Bill Clinton, on the internet written by Brian Viner of the Independent in London.
|Globalisation, crime and its discontent - Willem Punt|
A critical study of history tends to expose pertinent examples of mankind's truimphs masking hidden follies. Our truimphs always tend to be debatable, especially when viewed with the benefit of hindsight, for only then does the price of our truimphs become apparent. The truimph of capatilism is certainly not immune to this phenomenon. Thus, many argue that the truimph of capatilism over competing ideologies may have brought wealth to many but at great expense to others.
|Ethical challenges for South African business - Mark Lamberti|
For a business to survive and prosper, it must satisfy the reasonable requirements of all stakeholders. It follows from this simple premise that for an enterprise to be credible, each stakeholder must share a greater or lesser extent in the value it creates. This is easier said than done.
|A call for moral excellence - Praveen Naidoo|
For organisations to foster a climate that encourages ethically exemplary behaviour, a more comprehensive approach is needed, going beyond a punitive, legal, compliance stance, by promoting self governance.
|Turning the tide of corruption in South Africa|
How the Eastern Cape Province is meeting the challenge
|Auditing an organisation's ethics - Willem Landman|
In an organisation, ethics needs to be institutionalised and operational. The King II Report, drawing from other standard-setting documents, gives practical guidance in this regard, with a view to building an ethical organisational culture.
|Business ethics - how do we know it works? - Willem Punt|
When organisations consider investing in organisational ethics management and the creation of an Ethics Office, a standard request is: "Please quantify the reduction in risk/how much money it will save".
|The Social Value of Ethical Leadership - Willem Punt|
When we think of reasons why organisations should cultivate a good ethical culture, we often hear the pragmatic imperative "good ethics is good business" but in this short piece I would like to explore the social imperative "why building an ethical culture in your organisation is a vital contribution towards securing a safe political future for us all".
|Ethical Risk Management - Willem Punt|
Before the Second World War words like 'safety and 'quality' control were simply not part of recognised business vocabulary. Yet today it is considered standard business practice to formally and consciously manage the safety of stakeholders as well as the quality of products and services.
|Lifting the veil of negativity - the dark side of corporate governance. - Willem Punt|
They say that there are three types of philosophers, the kind that can count and the kind that can't. So maybe I belong to the former when thinking about corporate governance, because something just does not add up.
|Parmalat - milking the CSR cow. - Willem Punt|
Human beings are the only mammalian specie that regularly drinks milk beyond infancy. Think about it - this is strange. What is downright weird is that we quaff down billions of litres of the stuff produced by the lactic glands of other mammalians species and not even our own! Yet, dare I ask, who of us will raise the issue of adult human milk consumption during dinner at the in laws?!
|Director remuneration - towards what is right, good and fair. - Willem Punt|
With exorbitant director remuneration making the news repeatedly in the last few months, an international weekly recently called for a stick to beat steeply escalating director remuneration back into shape.
|Can more Business Ethics Teaching halt Corruption in Companies? - Prof Anton A. van Niekerk|
This article deals with the question of whether an increased teaching of business ethics can/will have a positive effect on the fight against corruption in companies. It is written from a (South) African perspective. Statistics about the alarming state of corruption in South African businesses are provided in the beginning. A Hegelian approach to the problem, in terms of which theory can and does influence practice, is compared to a Marxist approach, in terms of which theory is only a reflection of practice. The author chooses a position that mediates between these two extremes.
|Who's Checking the Checkers? - Frank J. Navran|
In the years before 'empowering employees' became part of the management lexicon, decision making authority often rested several layers above where the actual work was being performed. It was commonplace for peoples' work to be checked, first by their supervisors and then rechecked by the manager. Those of us consulting to business at that time derisively referred this to as "checkers checking checkers".
|No Virginia, There is No Such Thing As Independence - Frank J. Navran|
Independence is a word that is getting a good deal of attention these days but I have yet to encounter a comprehensive discussion of what it means, couched in language that is useful to the typical business decision maker. What follows is an attempt at moving that dialog forward.
|Nursing: The Profession of Caring - Willem A. Landman|
It is a great honour for me to share this evening's celebration of some of South Africa's most exemplary nurses with you. People who have not been sick mostly have no idea of what it is like to be a nurse, or of how crucial nurses are for those dependent on their professional services.
|A rights perspective on the HIV/AIDS pandemic - Willem A. Landman|
This workshop brings together three discourses about public health and HIV/AIDS, namely:
|Developing a code of ethics|
An organisation's code of ethics is a key element of good ethics management says Dr Willem Landman, CEO of EthicSA.. The King Report on Corporate Governance for South Africa prescribes the adoption of such a code. Non-listed and smaller businesses would do well to follow suit. An exclusive article for EthicSA,Finance Week and Finansies & Tegniek
|Ethics not an optional extra - Willem A. Landman|
Business ethics have never been higher on the public agenda than now, writes Willem A Landman, CEO of the Ethics Institute of South Africa. He says catastrophic corporate failures caused by unethical individual behaviour, ethically weak corporate cultures and dubious accounting or auditing practices have eroded investor confidence in markets worldwide and wiped out pension reserves.
|Lesotho's - a small country is showing big heart in combatting corruption|
Two years ago, the World Bank offered Lesotho support for its corruption trials against multinationals accused of extensive bribery in one of Africa's biggest engineering works.That none has been forthcoming has not dented the small African nation's determination, fuelled by morality and self-interest, to end money-for-contract graft in the poor world.
|Rushworth Kidder on South Africa|
Rushworth Kidder, the well known US ethicist and head of the Institute of Global Ethics, was recently in South Africa on a lecturing and fact-finding tour. He has been a regular visitor to these shores since the first democratic elections in 1994 and in this interview with EthicSA he reflects on being a 'hopeless fan' of a country that has a lot more going for it than is generally acknowledged, he said in an EthicSA interview.
|Business Ethics Across the Atlantic|
Joan Fontrodona, the Head of the University of Navarra, Graduate Business School feels that the Atlantic divide between European and North American approaches to business ethics is narrowing. In the past the values based and compliance approaches typical to the two continents respectively have operated largely exclusive of one another.
|Kevin Wakeford shares his thoughts on globalisation|
Kevin Wakeford, the CEO of the SA Chamber of Business said that the tendency by many anti-globalisation activists to vilify the private sector is generally based on a simplistic and monolithic understanding of modern business. Whilst there are issues that need to be urgently addressed in the globalisation debate, an adversarial approach should be replaced by an attitude of partnership, he said in an interview with EthicSA.
|Kevin Wakeford's response to the Myburgh Commission|
Kevin Wakeford, the CEO of the SA Chamber of Business who set in train the events that led to the appointment of the Myburgh Commission into the decline of the Rand and who generally has been pilloried by business for doing so, said in a feisty interview with EthicSA that he has no regrets over what he did.
|Gaining The Ethical Edge|
Ethics and values are no longer merely personal issues, write Dawn-Marie Driscoll and W. Michael Hoffman. They are organisational issues as well. Often the root of unethical behaviour is often systemic and not simply the result of rotten apples in the corporate barrel. Ethical people can be brought down by serving in a bad organization, just as people with questionable integrity can be uplifted, or at least neutralized, by serving in an organization with clear values.