Issue 3: February 2012
In this issue of Setting the Example, we expose the many ethical divides which organisations face; we discuss ethical leadership and question the notion that someone else should always fill that role; we share the six reasons why businesses should actively manage, measure, monitor and report on their ethics; and we introduce the topic of affinity fraud. We hope that you will find this newsletter informative, and that you will share it with others who may also find it interesting.


Organisation should manage the many potential ethical divides in the workplace to avoid the risks and negative consequences.

Ethics in the workplace is becoming an increasingly important focus area. The question I would like to address is whether this is driven more by a desire to reduce the costs of breaches of ethics or by a genuine commitment to doing the right thing. This represents a fundamental difference, and is but one of many more such ethical divides.

Organisations that are committed to maintaining sound ethics need to consciously avoid the gaps which risk undermining their ethical status and eroding the effectiveness of their ethical initiatives.



The goal of achieving ethical behaviour in the workplace is shared by organisations across different sectors, industries and countries. Of the factors which shape behaviour, leaders are widely recognized as the most influential. As role models, they effectively set the ethical standards of the organization by the values they demonstrate, by what they say and do, and by what they don’t say and do.



There are six key reasons why businesses should actively manage, measure, monitor and report on their ethics.

Reason 1
Managing ethics and reporting on ethics are legal requirements in terms of the Companies Act, No.71 of 2008

A new provision of the Companies Act mandates that every state owned company, listed public company and any other company that scores more than 500 public interest points in any two of the previous five years (which is based on the number of employees, annual turnover and third party liability) establish a social and ethics committee by 1 May 2012 ...


The Economist, January 28th 2012.

The big business of swindling people who trust you

WITH a nudge from their pastor, the 25,000 members of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church near Atlanta opened their hearts, and their wallets, to Ephren Taylor. And why not, given his glittering credentials? Mr Taylor billed himself as the youngest black chief executive of a publicly traded company in American history. He had appeared on NPR and CNN. He had given a talk on socially conscious investing at the Democratic National Convention.

From April, Cynthia Schoeman will be writing a regular monthly column for Ethical Living magazine entitled “Ethical Business”.

Ethical Living is dedicated to the promotion of universal human rights, environmental sustainability and animal welfare. It supports the growth of the ethical market by investigating companies’ practices, uncovering truths behind operations and highlighting the most ethical products and services.


Seminar: “Ethics, Sex and Power”
Cynthia Schoeman will be sharing a speaking platform with Thuli Madonsela, Public Protector, Ferial Haffajee, Editor-in-Chief of City Press, and others at this seminar on 15 March at Emoyeni in Parktown. To book contact Busara Leadership Partners


“Fox Projects has recently run the Ethics Monitor survey within the company. The company benefitted greatly from the survey. The survey is easy to use and it gave us great insight and understanding into the ethical views and behaviour within our company. Ethics is not always the burning issue, but the survey definitely places emphasis on areas that a company should focus on.”

Dierdre Strydom, H R Manager, Fox Projects


Ethics tip:
Increasing the level of ethical awareness in an organisation is an effective and easy way to improve ethical behaviour and reduce unethical behaviour. It can be achieved by making ethics a real part of the company’s processes and via presentations, facilitated discussion groups and training sessions.


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, workshops and consulting.

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Contact us

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

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