Original Research

Ethical business practices in the Eastern Cape automotive industry

Hendrik Lloyd, Michelle Mey, Koman Ramalingum
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 17, No 5 | a638 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v17i5.638 | © 2014 Hendrik Lloyd, Michelle Mey, Koman Ramalingum | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 May 2013 | Published: 28 November 2014

About the author(s)

Hendrik Lloyd, Nelson mandela metropolitan university, South Africa
Michelle Mey, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Koman Ramalingum, NMMU

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Abstract

High profile scandals have brought about a renewed interest in business ethics and, in particular, inunderstanding the factors that promote ethical behaviour. Business ethics is about identifying andimplementing values, rules and standards of conduct for guiding morally right behaviour in an organisation’sinteraction with its stakeholders. Against this background a quantitative analysis of the ethical practices of46 companies operating in the Eastern Cape automotive industry was conducted to determine the extent towhich ethics-related interventions contributed to establishing and maintaining an ethical organisationalenvironment. A structured online questionnaire was used to collect the data. The data collected wassubjected to extensive statistical analyses, including Cronbach Alpha coefficients and item total correlations,and various descriptive statistics were included as a quantitative summary of the data. A constant referencevalue for the study was also calculated to allow inferences regarding the significance of the tested variablesto the study. The results revealed that the organisations in the sample are highly ethical due to the presenceof ethics-related interventions, including a code of ethics, committed leadership, adherence to internal andexternal governance requirements, compliance with legislation and encouragement and disclosure ofunethical behaviour. In light of the high number of ethical scandals internationally, this study will add to theempirical body of business ethics research, as it provides organisations with a framework to establish andmaintain an ethical business environment.

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