Document Type Master's Dissertation Author Naude, Ingrid URN etd-06202005-115533 Document Title Factors impacting on ethical behaviour in organisations Degree MCom (Human Resources Management) Department Human Resource Management Supervisor
Advisor Name Title Prof J S Basson Keywords
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Date 2004-11-30 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe purpose of this study is to determine the factors impacting on ethical behaviour in organisations. More specifically the purpose of this study is to a) identify the factors impacting on ethical behaviour in organisations within a theoretical framework, specifically focusing on the South African context and b) to make certain recommendations to address the factors identified as impacting on ethical behaviour in organisations. To achieve these goals the study was designed in two phases. The first phase entails a theoretical inquiry with the aim of understanding the concepts of ethics as well as ethical and unethical behaviour, to identify the factors impacting on ethical behaviour in organisations, to provide practical recommendations to address these factors and provide a background to the second phase. The second phase consists of an empirical inquiry with the aim to identify the factors impacting on ethical behaviour in organisations based on the data gathered through a survey designed for this purpose. For each phase there is a separate discussion of the research methodology employed to achieve the objectives of that phase. A mostly qualitative research methodology was employed for the first phase while quantitative research was utilised during the second phase. The first phase contains two chapters each devoted to a separate topic. Chapter 3 unpacks the concept of ethics while chapter 4 looks at various models that identify factors impacting on ethical behaviour in organisations and recommendations to address these factors. Chapter 3 also contains the definition and discussion of the concept of ethics as it relates to the purpose of this study, whereas chapter 4 also contains practical recommendations to address the specific factors identified as impacting on ethical behaviour in organisations. Chapter 5 contains the discussion of the research methodology for the empirical inquiry and presents the results thereof. In the last section of chapter 5 conclusions are made w.r.t the results of the study, the research quality is evaluated and recommendations are made for future research in this field. Some of the more salient conclusions of the study are:
-- Ethics can be defined as the principles or standards that govern good and right behaviour.
-- The entire population identified seven factors as impacting on ethical behaviour in organisations amongst which: leader or manager behaviour, code of conduct, values, beliefs, referent others, reward systems and parental influence.
-- Results of the literature analysis indicated that there were six factors impacting on ethical behaviour in organisations, which include: referent others, leader or manager behaviour, reward systems, code of conduct, organisational culture and the individuals level of moral development.
-- The results of the theoretical inquiry and empirical inquiry indicate that there are four factors in total that were identified in both phases of the inquiry as having an impact on ethical behaviour in organisations which are: referent others, leader or manager behaviour, reward systems and a code of conduct.
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