A construct of code effectiveness: empirical findings and measurement properties
AbstractThe purpose of the study is to examine and describe the use of codes of ethics in companies operating South Africa. The population included the company secretaries of the top 500 companies operating in the South African corporate sector. The findings stipulate that South African companies need to understand that their employees are diverse in beliefs and opinions and as a result do not all have a similar ethical value system. Therefore, ethical education is imperative to ensure a stronger focus on the offering of ethics programmes aligned with the business philosophy of the company.
Berenbeim, R. 2000. Global Ethics. Executive Excellence, 17:5, 7.
Bisschoff, C. and Fullerton, S. 2011. Managerial business ethics in South Africa: An exploratory comparison - 1987 and 2009. African Journal of Business Ethics: 14-25.
BUSA, 2009. South African Charter of Ethical Business Practice, Business Unity South Africa (BUSA). August. Available online: http://www.nacf.org.za/busa_workshop/BUSA_Charter_of_Ethical_Business_Practice.pdf. [Accessed on 4 April 2015].
Campbell, D., Moore, G. and Metzger, M. 2002. “Corporate Philanthropy in the U.K. 1985-2000: Some Empirical Findings”, Journal of Business Ethics, 39: 29-41.
Cant, M.C. & Van Niekerk, C. 2013. Survival or ethically correct? Small business owner’s attitude towards ethical concern. 3rd Annual International Conference on Enterprize Marketing and Globalization.
Del Fabro. 2012. South Africa in need of higher business ethic standing. Available online: http://www.skillsportal.co.za/page/features/corporate-governance-ethics/1425954-South-Africa-in-need-of-higher-business-ethic-standing. [Accessed on 10 June 2014].
Dekker. 2002. King III report.
Available online: http://www.mervynking.co.za/downloads/CD_King2.pdf. [Accessed on 15 January 2015].
Delloite.com. 2012. Social and Ethics Committee Resource Guide. Available online: http://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/za/Documents/governance-risk-compliance/ZA_SocialAndEthicsCommitteeAndTheManagementOfTheEthicsPerformance_24032014.pdf [Accessed on 19 July 2014].
Egels-Zandén, N. 2007. Suppliers’ compliance with MNCs codes of conduct: behind the scenes at Chinese toy suppliers. Journal of Business Ethics, 75: 45–62.
Goldman, G., Bounds, M., Buła, P. & Fudalinski, F. 2012. On the ethical conduct of business organisations: A comparison between South African and Polish business management students. African Journal of Business Ethics, 6(1):75-87.
Grant and Thornton, 2011. Public Interest Score Calculator. Available online: http://www.gt.co.za/publications/2011/06/public-interest-score-calculator/. [Accessed on 19 January 2015]
Groenewald, L. & Geerts, S. 2013. The South African Business Survey 2013. Ethics Institute of South Africa, Hatfield: Pretoria.
Institute of Directors Southern Africa. 1994. King Report on corporate governance in South Africa. Available online: http://www.iodsa.co.za/?kingIII [Accessed on 1 March 2015].
Institute of Directors Southern Africa. 2002. Business Ethics codes. Available online: http://www.ecgi.org/codes/documents/executive_summary.pdf. [Accessed on 12 October 2014].
Institute of Directors Southern Africa. 2009. King code of governance for South Africa. Available online: http://www.ecgi.org/codes/documents/executive_summary.pdf. [Accessed on 12 February 2015].
Irwin, J. 2011. Doing business in South Africa: An overview of ethical aspects. London: Institute of Business Ethics.
Jondle, D., Ardichvili, A. & Mitchell, J. 2014. Modelling Ethical Business Culture: Development of the Ethical Business Culture Survey and Its Use to Validate the CEBC Model of Ethical Business Culture. Journal of Business Ethics, (119):29–43.
Jones, K.P., King, E.B., Nelson, J., Geller, D.S. and Bowes-Sperry, L. 2013. Beyond the business case: An ethical perspective of diversity training. Human Resource Management, 52(1):55-74.
Lea, D. 1999. Corporate and public responsibility, stakeholder theory and the developing world. Business Ethics: A European Review 8(3), 151-162.
Lewis, D. & Uys, T. 2007. Protecting whistle blowers at work A comparison of the impact of British and South African legislation. Managerial Law, 49(3): 76-92.
Loucks, V. 1987. A CEO looks at Ethics. Business Horizons, March/April: 2-6.
Loyd, H.R., Mey, M.R. & Ramalingum, K. 2014. Ethical business practices in the Eastern Cape automotive industry. SAJEMS, 17(5):569-583.
Maclagan, P. 1992. Management development and business ethics: A view from the UK. Journal of Business Ethics, 11:321-328.
Makiwane, T.S. and Padia, N. 2012. Evaluation of corporate integrated reporting in South Africa post King III release South Africa – An exploratory enquiry. Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences, 6(2): 421-438.
McDonald, G.M. and Zepp, R.A. 1990. What should be done? A practical approach to business ethics. Management Decision, 28(1): 9-14.
Media Club South Africa. 2013. South Africa’s economy: key sectors. Available online: http://www.mediaclubsouthafrica.com/economy/37-economy/economy_bg/111-sa-economy-key-sectors. [Accessed on 31 May 2014].
NCR. 2011. Literature review on small and medium enterprises’ access to credit and support in South Africa. Available online:
http://www.ncr.org.za/pdfs/Research_Reports/Literature%20Review%20on%20SME%2 [Access%20to%20Credit%20in%20South%20Africa_Final%20Report_NCR_Dec%202011.pdf [Accessed on 31 September 2014].
Norusis, M.J. 1993. SPSS for Windows: Base System User’s Guide Release 6.0. Chicago, IL: SPSS Inc.
Norusis, M.J. 1994. SPSS Professional Statistics 6.1. Chicago, IL: SPSS Inc.
Planting. 2013. SA's bi-polar relationship with ethics. Available online:
http://www.moneyweb.co.za/moneyweb-corporate-governance/sas-bipolar-relationship-with-ethics. [Accessed on 12 February 2015].
Price, G. and Van der Walt, A.J. 2013. Changes in attitudes towards business ethics held by former South African business management students. Journal of Business Ethics, 113 (3):429-440.
Rondinelli, D.A 2003. Transnational corporations: international citizens or new sovereigns? Business Strategy Review, 14(4), 13-21.
Rossouw, D. 2012. The social and ethics committee handbook. Pretoria: Ethics Institute of South Africa.
SABPP. 2013. Ethics, Fraud and Corruption. SABBP Fact Sheet, 2:1-11, February.
SAICA. 2013. The Consumer Protection Act. Available online: https://www.saica.co.za/Technical/LegalandGovernance/Legislation/ConsumerProtectionActNo68of2008/tabid/1911/language/en-ZA/Default.aspx. [Accessed on 3 February 2015].
SAICA. 2014. Ethical governance. Available online:
https://www.saica.co.za/Technical/LegalandGovernance/King/tabid/2938/language/en-ZA/Default.aspx. [Accessed on 15 September 2014].
Schoeman, C. 2012 Business ethics - Is there really such a thing? Professional Accountant.
SAInfo. 2013. South Africa: Economic Overview. Available online: http://www.southafrica.info/business/economy/econoverview.htm. [Accessed on 30 September 2014].
Seegers, G. 2009. King III homes in on share-based remuneration. TaxTalk, September/October.
Sims, R. R. 1992. The Challenge of Ethical Behavior in Companies. Journal of Business Ethics, 11(7):505-513.
Somers, M.J. 2001. Ethical Codes of Conduct and Companyal Context: A Study of the Relationship Between Codes of Conduct, Employee Behavior and Companyal Values. Journal of Business Ethics, 30: 185-195.
Svensson, G., Wood, G. and Callaghan, M. 2004a. A Comparison between Corporate and Public Sector Business Ethics in Sweden: Similarities and Differences. Business Ethics: A European Review, 13(2/3): 166-185.
Svensson, G., Wood, G. and Callaghan, M. 2004b. The Commitment of Public Sector Sweden to Codes of Ethics. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 17(4): 302-331.
Svensson, G., Wood, G. and Callaghan, M. 2006. Codes of ethics in corporate Sweden. Corporate Governance, 6(5): 547-566.
Svensson, G. and Wood, G. 2008. Model of Business Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, 77(3): 303-322.
TopCo. 2014. Top 500 South Africa’s best managed companies. Retrieved from http://topco.co.za/publications/top500-south-africas-best-managed-companies) [Accessed on 30 March 2014].
Tuan, L.T. 2012. The linkages among leadership, trust, and business ethics. Social Responsibility Journal, 8(1): 133-149.
Van Tonder, C.L. 2006. Towards a minimum conceptualisation of ethical company change: The platform provided by the “King II Report”. SA Journal of Human Resource Management, 4(3): 12-21.
Van Zyl, E. & Lazenby, K. 2012. The role of leadership in reducing unethical behavior and white-collar crime in a company context. Acta Criminologica, 25(1): 58-68.
Western Cape Government. 2013. National Consumer Protection Act. Available online:
http://www.westerncape.gov.za/general-publication/national-consumer-protection-act. [Accessed on 3 May 2014].
Whyatt, G., Wood, G. & Callaghan, M. 2012. Commitment to business ethics in UK companies. European Business Review. 24(4): 331-350.
Wood, G. 2002. A Partnership Model of Corporate Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, 40: 61-73.
Zona, F., Minoja, M. & Coda, V. 2013. Antecedents of corporate scandals: CEOs’ personal traits, stakeholders’ cohesion, managerial fraud and imbalanced corporate strategy. Journal of Business Ethics, 113: 265-283.
This journal is an open access journal, and the authors and journal should be properly acknowledged, when works are cited.
Authors may use the publisher's version for teaching purposes, in books, theses, dissertations, conferences and conference papers.
A copy of the authors’ publisher's version may also be hosted on the following websites:
- Non-commercial personal homepage or blog.
- Institutional webpage.
- Authors Institutional Repository.
The following notice should accompany such a posting on the website: “This is an electronic version of an article published in AJOBE, Volume XXX, number XXX, pages XXX–XXX”, DOI. Authors should also supply a hyperlink to the original paper or indicate where the original paper (http://ajobe.journals.ac.za/pub) may be found.
Authors publisher's version, affiliated with the Stellenbosch University will be automatically deposited in the University’s’ Institutional Repository SUNScholar.
The following license applies:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.