Original Research

An ethics model to develop an ethical organisation

Hendrik R. Lloyd, Michelle R. Mey
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 8, No 1 | a218 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v8i1.218 | © 2010 Hendrik R. Lloyd, Michelle R. Mey | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 May 2009 | Published: 18 November 2010

About the author(s)

Hendrik R. Lloyd, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
Michelle R. Mey, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa


Orientation: As background to the study it can be stated that the ethical conduct of employees in an organisation is of paramount importance to the successful operations of an organisation, both real and perceived. In recent times the ethical conduct of employees has received extensive publicity and, as such, has emphasised the impact of organisational ethics on the global competitiveness of organisations.

Research purpose: The main aim of the paper is to analyse the impact of business ethics in the Eastern Cape Motor Industry Cluster (ECMIC) and the different perceptions regarding such ethics. This is based on the main research question, namely, whether a business ethics model should be developed to assist in creating an ethical organisation.

Motivation of the study: The motivation for this study is based on the question of whether there is a dedicated drive within the motor industry to establish an ethical organisation and, if such is the case, what benefits would accrue to the organisations in ECMIC.

Research design, approach and method: An empirical study was conducted within ECMIC to test the proposed ethics intervention model. A questionnaire, as the main measuring instrument, was developed and 150 questionnaires were distributed. Statistical hypothesis testing was used, with a significance level set at 5%. The aim of the hypothesis testing was to test whether the percentage responses in certain categories were significantly higher than a pre-determined test-value.

Main findings: The research results substantiate the fact that the majority of the surveyed organisations do not implement specific ethics interventions. Nevertheless, the majority of respondents acknowledge the importance of ethical behaviour in the organisation, especially with regard to their financial positions.

Practical/managerial implications: From this study it became clear that the implementation of a code of ethics would create a platform for ethical behaviour in organisations. It is also concluded from this study that all organisations must strive towards creating an ethical organisation which would have long-term rewards for the organisation, especially from a financial perspective.

Contribution/value-add: This study highlights the fact that although ethics and ethical behaviour in organisations are emphasised and receive wide-spread media coverage, not enough action is linked to this task at hand. The results of this research clearly indicate where the shortcomings are, in the process of establishing ethical organisations and who should be seen as the custodians of such activities.


automotive industry; ethics; ethical behaviour; human resources; ethical organisation


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Crossref Citations

1. Integrating codes of ethics in Hong Kong construction organizations—practitioners’ perspective
Olugbenga Timo Oladinrin, Christabel Man-Fong Ho
Asian Journal of Business Ethics  vol: 4  issue: 1  first page: 15  year: 2015  
doi: 10.1007/s13520-015-0041-3