Issue 6: November 2012
In this issue of Setting the Example, we share our thinking on the really important issue of integrated ethics. We also discuss the return on integrity as the new ROI, the crucial issues to teach ethics effectively, and we answer the question of whether there is such a thing as business ethics. We have included a couple of interesting articles: on how to cultivate ethical employees and how to resist bribery in emerging markets. We are also pleased to announce the launch of Cynthia Schoeman’s ethics course via GIBSdirect, the new web-based learning channel at GIBS business school.


The need to effectively manage workplace ethics is increasingly being recognised as an important leadership and business priority. Organizations strive to realize the benefits associated with an ethical workplace, while also avoiding or minimising the risks and costs of ethical failures. The approach adopted by businesses in this regard is, however, often inadequate to achieve this outcome. The primary cause of this lies in a lack of integration. Read More...



Published in Directorship, Finance and Legal Edition, Jul/Aug/Sep 2012.

ROI as the acronym for ‘return on investment’ is central to most businesses. The investment of capital and resources is intended – and expected - to deliver a financial return. But there’s another, new ROI, the return on integrity, which centres on an investment in workplace ethics.

The two ROIs are similar as regards failure to deliver. Failure to deliver financial returns and failure to conduct a business ethically both risk eroding shareholder confidence and... Read More...



Published in HR Future, August 2012

Creating an ethical workplace is increasingly being recognized as an important corporate goal. This can be accomplished via a combination of numerous factors, such as leadership, values, culture, a code of conduct, policies, systems and training. In particular, training as an approach to addressing workplace ethics has flourished to the extent that it has become a growing industry, with business schools, ethics organizations and consultants all offering support for organizations’ ethics training programmes. Read More...



Cynthia Schoeman delivered a talk on ethical capital at the annual Corporate Governance conference of the Chartered Secretaries Southern Africa at the Wanderers Club on 13 September 2012.

The Companies Act and King III are clear about what organizations should do as regards ethics. However, the extent to which this actually happens depends on other questions: how ethics is viewed, whether ethics really matters to the organization, and if ethics is considered to make good business sense. The answers will shape whether the outcome amounts to ‘tick-box’ compliance or a valuable source of ethical capital.



Harvard Business Review Management Tip of the Day, posted by staff on Thursday Oct 25th 2012

"Entire companies have been taken down by the reckless behavior of one person. Even if they don't set out to cheat, steal, or lie, people can still do stupid things. Here are three ways to minimize risky behavior:
  • Hire right. Don’t rely on resumes and references. Anyone can fake those. Consider going a level deeper and doing employment and background checks. Some risk-averse companies also conduct behavioral and honesty testing to screen employees.
  • Incentivize the right behavior. People don't do what you tell them to do; they do what you pay them to do. Make sure your company’s performance measurement and incentive systems don’t encourage the wrong behaviors.
  • Create an open culture. People shouldn’t be afraid to speak up when they see something fishy. Make sure you have risk escalation and whistleblower processes in place and actively encourage people to use them when necessary."
Adapted from “Five House Rules for Managing Risky Behavior” by James Lam.
We are delighted to announce the launch of the GIBSdirect ethics course which is designed and facilitated by Cynthia Schoeman, and based on her book, Ethics: Giving a Damn, Making a Difference. This is a web-based course that aims to give participants awareness, knowledge and an understanding of the theory, key issues, challenges and practical actions that are pertinent to ethics in the workplace. The course is especially relevant for those who lead and guide others: executives, managers and public sector officials. The first course starts on 28 February 2013. For further information or to enrol:


To Moneyweb and Malcolm Rees for their contribution to investigating and exposing fraud in garnishee orders. See their latest stories: “Garnishee fraud debacle widens” and “Hawks probe fake garnishees; arrests to follow”.


Greased Palms, Giant Headaches
by Dan Currell and Tracy Davis Bradley
“Bribery is pervasive in emerging markets, and companies are racking up millions in fines. Here’s how to resist it.”
A preview of the article is available on or the full text is in the September 2012 issue of the Harvard Business Review pages 21-23.


A survey from the Institute of Business Ethics showed that 60% of UK employees received training on standards of ethical conduct. However, another survey found that less than a third (29%) were aware of the values of their organization.

What is your company’s status? Do your employees actually know your company’s values? What training do they receive to strengthen your values and build an ethical culture?

“No” and “nothing” are not good answers!

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
+2711 447 7661; +2782 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.