New survey tool to monitor and manage your organisation’s ethical status

Ethics Monitoring and Management Services has developed a five minute online survey which enables leaders to measure, monitor and proactively manage their organisation’s ethical status.

Called The Ethics Monitor, the survey assesses the ethical status of an organisation based on the perceptions and experiences of their stakeholders. The results provide meaningful insight into the factors shaping the organisation’s ethical current reality, and identify and prioritise actions to improve ethical behaviour and reduce unethical conduct.

“Ethics is the new fault line for businesses,” says MD Cynthia Schoeman. “It’s unlike any other workplace challenge as ethical failure cannot be corrected by, for instance, simply cutting costs next quarter. The cost of an ethical scandal can be massive and have a lasting impact, as evidence by the unfolding News International phone hacking and corruption saga. It can cost individuals their positions and their freedom if they are convicted, can erode the company’s share price and its reputation, risks financial losses in fines or legal settlements, and can even lead to the closure of the business.”

In South Africa, ethical failures range from the collusion and price-fixing findings of the SA Competition Commission to corruption cases in the public sector. The Special Investigating Unit reported to Parliament in March 2011 that the number of new cases revealed “staggering corruption in the police, the public broadcaster, the land reform and housing subsidy systems, state departments and municipalities”. Corruption in South Africa is viewed by many, including business and trade unions, as the biggest obstacle to the country achieving its social and economic goals.

Such high levels of corruption risk’s obscuring what is good and judging everyone the same. The added challenge is that this behaviour comes to be seen as the norm - which has the effect of discouraging people from trying to act against unethical behaviour to make a difference. Yet, every citizen who upholds the law, every leader who acts as a good role model, and every business and every government department that improves its ethics makes a positive contribution. Reaching a critical mass to achieve an ethical tipping point in favour of sound ethics may be a very ambitious goal which may be difficult to achieve - but that’s not a good enough reason not to try.

For further information:

Cynthia Schoeman
MD, Ethics Monitoring & Management Services
Tel: +27 (0)11 447 7661
Cell: +27 (0)82 821 3729

Posted on Achiever
25 July 2011

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