Original Research

A Role For HR In Corporate Ethics? South African Practitioners’ Perspectives

L. J. van Vuuren, R. J. Eiselen
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 4, No 3 | a95 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v4i3.95 | © 2006 L. J. van Vuuren, R. J. Eiselen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 November 2006 | Published: 06 November 2006

About the author(s)

L. J. van Vuuren, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
R. J. Eiselen, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

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Since few South African organisations have as yet appointed ethics officers, there is often a lack of clarity on who should take responsibility for coordinating organisations’ ethics management efforts. The purpose of this paper was to assess HR (the Human Resource function and its practitioners) as a possible contender to assume responsibility for ethics management in SA organisations. To this end a mail survey was conducted among registered HR practitioners (N=410). Two factors related to 1) the extent of HR’s ethics management competence and 2) HR’s responsibility for ethics management, were identified. The results showed that HR practitioners on average believe that they indeed have an ethics management competence and that they should be involved in ethics management. However, practitioners with a great deal of exposure to organisations that manage ethics believe to a lesser extent that they should be involved in ethics management. The implications of the findings are discussed.


Ethics; human resources; ethics management


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