Issue 4: May 2012
In this issue of Setting the Example, we review the good, the bad and ugly of workplace ethics; we discuss how to use ethics reporting systems to minimise unethical conduct; and we share the six focus areas needed for an effective ethics strategy. We have also included an interesting article on fostering trust and a summary of a talk on ethics as the new 4th bottom line. We hope that you will find this newsletter informative, and that you will share it with others who may also find it interesting.


‘The good, the bad and the ugly’ may remind some readers of the 1966 western starring Clint Eastwood in which, despite the title, arguably all three gunslingers were bad. This is also often the impression created when the term is applied to ethics. There is a great deal of evidence of bad and ugly unethical behaviour in the private and public sectors and there seems to be so little good – which is a good reason to explore how workplace ethics stacks up in terms of who and what constitute the good, the bad and ugly. Read More...



Creating an ethical workplace needs a focus on improving ethical behaviour and on reducing or preventing unethical conduct, although decreasing misconduct is often the greater focus area. There are a number of ways organisations can work on realising this goal. But how effective are these initiatives at addressing unethical conduct: how well do they act as deterrents? Read More...



Published in HR Future, April 2012

The goal of sound ethics and an ethical culture is shared by most organizations. However, building and maintaining an ethical organization is often made more difficult because the management of ethics is not prioritized. A clear ethics strategy is needed to better enable the organization to realise its ethical goals. Ideally, this strategy needs to include six focus areas. Read More...



Harvard Business Review blog, April 20, 2012

Think of the most chilling villain you've seen in the movies, the one who shows up in your nightmares, the one you would avoid at all cost if he really existed, the one, in short, you absolutely cannot trust. We don't know what villain comes to mind for you, but one of our most memorable is Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, played by Anthony Hopkins. Read More...


The formation of a social and ethics committee became a legal requirement in terms of the new Companies Act from 1 May 2012 for all state owned and listed public companies and for most medium and large private companies.
But, compliance has not been good. A Social and Ethics Committee Readiness Survey by Mazars and the IoDSA found that only half of the organizations that responded have set up their committees. Slightly less than half have appointed an expert on the subject of either social or ethics matters to the committee.
Cynthia’s article in the latest issue of the Wits Business School Journal explores the crucial question of whether this be yet another initiative which adds costs without also adding value?

Wild Swans Leadership Development Programme
Cynthia spoke to the girls taking part in this programme on the importance of ethics and integrity for leadership and relative to the social and ecological challenges we face.
The Wild Swans Programme is run by the Wilderness Foundation UK for teenage girls from England, Northern Ireland and South Africa.


The impact of ethics: the new 4th bottom line
Cynthia Schoeman shared a speaking platform with Alec Hogg and Tony Dixon at the Insurance Institute of Gauteng’s Power Seminar on Friday 4 May 2012 at the Hyatt Hotel in Johannesburg.
Read the summary of her talk...


Cynthia’s article, “Can Auction Alliance be saved?” was posted on Moneyweb on 9 March; she was interviewed by Alec Hogg on Market Update on SAFM on 16 April; and she was interviewed by Carte Blanche for their follow-up story on Auction Alliance broadcast on M-Net on 20 May.


Recommendation from Strate Ltd
“Using the Ethics Monitor survey to measure our ethical status provided valuable insights into where we were doing well and where we could improve. The overall result was to strengthen our ethical focus.”


Send us a comment
We’d like to receive your comments on our newsletter or your suggestions of topics or issues which you think are pertinent. Please email

About Ethics Monitoring & Management Services (Pty) Ltd

Ethics Monitoring & Management Services was started by Cynthia Schoeman to help organisations improve ethics in the workplace and to encourage them to manage ethics proactively. Cynthia developed The Ethics Monitor, a web-based ethics survey, which enables organisations to measure and monitor their ethical status. Ethics Monitoring & Management Services also offers ethics talks, workshop, consulting and training.

Ethics Monitor logo       twitter twitter

Contact us

Cynthia Schoeman
Managing Director,
Ethics Monitoring & Management
Services (Pty) Ltd
011 447 7661; 082 821 3729;

We have sent you this newsletter because we believe you would be interested in improving ethics in the workplace. However, if you wish to unsubscribe, please click here.