Analysis of journal ‘An ethics model to develop an ethical organization’

  1. Abstract

Purpose statement: The purpose of the paper is to investigate the background of the study in this journal, to analyze the ethics model and to analyze the conclusion of the research and offer recommendations. Method: Investigation is conducted on the basis of the information from the attached journal, related materials from the fields of culture via internet resources and textbooks as well as personal experience of business ethics. Conclusion: It is helpful to fulfill the knowledge of the business ethics of the background, ethics intervention model as well as the conclusion and recommendations for organizations to better fulfill their goals to become real ethical organizations.

Key words: background, ethics intervention model, conclusion, recommendations

  1. Content

1.0 Introduction 4

1.1 Objectives 4

1.1.1 To investigate the background of the study 4

1.1.2 To analyze the ethics model 4

1.1.3 To analyze the conclusion of the research and offer recommendations 4

2.0 Summaries 5

2.1 Background information 5

2.2 Literature review 6

2.3 Ethical interventions model 7

2.4 Research design 9

2.5 Conclusion 10

2.6 Recommendations 11

3.0 Analysis 11

3.1 To investigate the background of the study 12

3.2 To analyze the ethics model 14

3.3 To analyze the conclusion of the research and offer recommendations 17

4.0 Conclusion 20

5.0 Learning outcomes and recommendations 22

6.0 Reference 24

  1. Figures and Tables

Figure 1.0 Proposed Ethics Interventions Model………………………………………8

Table 1.0 transparency International Corruption Index, (2005)………………………19

1.0 Introduction

This report will develop an analysis on the journal named ‘An ethics model to develop an ethical organization’ which is based on the background that business ethics is more and more importance in the performance and revenue gaining for organizations in the current global market. As the author in this journal advocated many economic crime including giving and receiving bribes, commissions, forging signatures and so on give organizations big hit, which should be took into consideration serious. Due to this phenomenon, this journal has conducted a survey related with issues in ethical behaviors in the business organization, especially in the Eastern Cape Motor Industry Cluster (ECMIC) to propose an ethical model for organization to act more ethically. (Lloyd & Mey 2010)

1.1 Objectives

1.1.1 To investigate the background of the study

1.1.2 To analyze the ethics model

1.1.3 To analyze the conclusion of the research and offer recommendations

2.0 Summaries

Generally speaking, the journal has made up of six aspects including the background introduction, research literature introduction, ethics model explanation, research design, the conclusion of author as well as recommendations the research and ethics model mentioned in this journal.

2.1 Background information

As the reports on mismanagements as well as unethical actions has become more and more since 1990s, more and more organizations and the upper level management have realized the importance of ethical behaviors in supporting the well and proper development of their organizations. For example, these unethical behaviors as the journal mentioned such as bribes and kickbacks accepting, signatures’ forging as well as lying for sick leave and other kinds of misbehaviors have bad influence on the proper function of the business. South Africa, for example, has experienced a great deal of money lost resulting from the employee crime.

Meanwhile, as the globalization trend becomes inevitable, to become a competitive global organization which enjoys a sustainable and healthy development, any organization may has no choice but to face the ethics issue directly. As some scholars advocated in the journal including Fulop, Hirsrich and Szegedi (2000, cited in Lloyd & Mey 2010) as well as Kay and Popkin (1998 cited in Lloyd & Mey 2010) that one of the determinants for an organization to improve the effectiveness of its performance and profitability is to improve the decision making strategies by incorporating ethics.

And based on these evidences found in many business organizations, we can see that those organizations which have committed to the ethical practices more have been enjoyed larger market value added compared with the average data about $ 10.6 billion recent years.

2.2 Literature review

Many literatures have indicated the importance of an ethical organization in today’s market situation. There are five aspects need to be considered serious.

To begin with, the importance of leadership inside an organization should always to be put in the first place. As Trevino and Nelson (1995, cited in Lloyd & Mey 2010) support that leadership has been always played the significant role in fostering, building as well as keeping the characteristics of an ethical organization. Secondly, these trainings related to some ethical issues for employees are also necessary for an organization to regulate the proper behaviors of staff. And then, the position of an ethics offers for an organization should also be emphasized, which is effective and helpful to assist the organization to foster and maintain an ethical environment.

At the same time, the whistle blowing behavior of the working employees should be encouraged and protected by an organization to help this organization to monitor the behavior of its staff in a more close and proper means. Moreover, the organization had better take the reward system towards to ethical behaviors into consideration as well. As the functions of incentives in enhancing and encouraging employees’ ethical behaviors are emphasized by so many successful organizations, the position of this system should be high lightened.

2.3 Ethical interventions model

Journal has proposed a model to assist the appropriate operation of an ethical organization, which includes four aspects and some important alternatives as in figure 1.0.

Figure 1.0 Proposed Ethics Interventions Model

Analysis of journal


Source: Lloyd, H. R. & Mey, M. R. 2010, An ethics model to develop an ethical organization, electronic version, SA Journal of Human Resource Management, viewed 8 October 2011.

The stage 1 can be defined as the top management commitment, which is often assisted by the alternative named ethics audit, which is focusing on the importance of leadership in encouraging and maintaining the environment for an organization. The stage 2 refers to the code of ethics often supporting by the option called hotlines and whistle blowing protection. In this stage, the statements consisting of an organization’s norms and beliefs injected with the purpose to enhance the attitude and understanding of the importance of ethical behaviors for employees often are built up as the ethics code for an organization.

The stage 3 is called ethics training. As Rossouw cited in Lloyd & Mey 2010) believed that it is necessary to introduce these training programs related with ethics to the staff of an organization to enhance their understanding of ethical issues and the skills in ethical decision making. The last stage is defined by Lloyd and Mey (2010) as reward structures with facilitating by ethics committee.

2.4 Research design

In the research design field, this journal has offered a great deal of information for us. Primarily, there are four hypothesis in four aspects proposed there to guide the research to run in the right direction in the business field of the Eastern Cape Motor Industry Cluster (ECMIC). When concerning with the research method aspect, the primary data collection means (Cascio 2010) are adopted such as sampling methods in a clustered, random and convenient way, the questionnaire data collection means as well as the pilot study to analyze the collected feedbacks.

The reporting based on the data collecting are relatively deliberate in this journal. All of those collected information and data is classified in different tables to analyze the results of the collected data in the Eastern Cape Motor Industry Cluster, which shows that although several organizations have realized the importance and necessity to become an ethical organization to encourage and maintain the ethical practices inside their organization, the implementation level, investment and effectiveness of these interventions in supporting ethical behaviors aren’t seemed so satisfactory and enough.

2.5 Conclusion

From the research concerned with the ethical interventions inside the business organization in the Eastern Cape Motor Industry Cluster, this journal has concluded that although the CEO and leaders in Human Research Department of these organizations have tries to emphasize the importance of the ethical behaviors and practices, it is seemed lack in efficiency and investment. Meanwhile, as the study disclosing that many of these respondents in this research are seemed to feel complicated about the content and scope which their leaders should provided to the organization with related to the ethical issues.

And moreover, the proposed ethics intervention model also owns some limitations. As the journal mentioned that one most possible limitation of this model is due to its relative narrow confine which is just in the Eastern Cape.

2. 6 Recommendations

This journal also offered many recommendations for organization and future research related to the ethical issues in organizations.

On the one hand, it presented suggestions how to improve their ethical interventions including the evaluation on the ethical climate and nature inside an organization implemented the study proposed intervention measures. On the other hand, it also suggest to make some modification and adjustment to assist the implementation of these mentioned interventions on how to improve the effectiveness of the research, how to better understand the ethical climate of the target organization and how to avoid some mistakes and shortages of this study has encountered.

3.0 Analysis

In the following, we’ll develop an analysis on this journal’s major concerns including its background, offered ethics interventions model as well as the conclusion and recommendations its offered.

3.1 To investigate the background of the study

One of the main time backgrounds is the 1990s, as the journal mention. During that period, the business crime made by some officers and white collars in organizations may be relatively serious, especially in companies from South Africa (Lloyd & Mey 2010). And this point of view often supported by Trevino and Nelson (2007) that in the late 2000, the corporate scandals related with some ethical issues had cost a large amount of money in the economy of USA. The Enron Company for example, due to some unethical practices had cost about $ 35 billion of the American economy.

Moreover, this journal also mentioned that as the globalization’s influence on organization’s decision making process as well as other kinds of business activities becomes more and more important, many global organizations as the journal mentioned have began to search the effective measures to improve their competitiveness in the world market. And these unethical behaviors conducted by employees in these organizations have been considered as the factors in hampering the reputation and performance of these organizations. Due to the significant impact of the ethical behaviors for an organization in today’s business environment, this journal also gives a relevant definition on the ethical environment in an organization that it is a kind of behaviors, norms, principles as well as values marked with the characteristics of honesty and justices, which are shared by all the working staff inside the organization under the guidance of the aim that the organization can enjoy the sustainable growth and development as well as maintain a harmonious relationship with all the stakeholders.

Based on this opinion, Beattle (2002) as well as Griffin and Pustay (2010) gave us the same idea that the globalization has provided business organizations, working staffs as well as the entrepreneurs a variety of brand new chances to search new markets, expand their products scope and reduce the operation cost and so on. And as the importance of the global market for organizations to gain more profitability and market shares, the ethical behaviors and practices have also been emphasized by more and more companies in the global region, which is essential for the long term and healthy development of organization.

Moreover, blending the ethical issues with the decision making strategies in organizations are also supported by this journal. As the journal advocated organizations which implement a relatively fully support to the ethical behaviors and code often created nearly twice the value to their stakeholders. That’s why ethical behaviors or ethical organizations often arouse the great attention by many organizations the entire world around. Such kind of view in this journal is also shared by Barry (1999) that many organizations have enriched the context of their organizational culture and practices with ethical concerns. For instance, some guidelines as well as codes of ethics are introduced by many organizations. These decision making processes both in the headquarters and subsidiary are often injected and guided under these codes of ethics.

Generally speaking, both this journal and some scholars are all the supporters of this ideas mentioned in this journal. Firstly, the unethical behaviors in some organization not only have bad impact on the reputation but also lead to a certain amount of loss for both these organizations and even their countries. Second, the importance of ethical behaviors should be taken serious by all of the organization under the umbrella of globalization influences. Due to such kind of importance of the ethics, many organizations have taken actions to implement series of ethical practices more or less to improve the effectiveness and accuracy of their decision making and relationship between them and the stakeholders. (Griffin & Pustay 2010; Trevino & Nelson 2007)

3. 2 To analyze the ethics model

The ethics interventions model proposed by this journal as in figure 1.0 consists many aspects. In four main aspects of this model, we can see that the first concern of this model is the management aspects which requires the management of an organization especially these top leaders to pay enough attention to the ethical practices inside their organization due to their unmoved role in fostering, building and maintaining the ethical climate and environment of an organization. The same this point of view, Marshall (2000) and Trevino and Nelson (2007) indicated that as the backbone of an organization, management especially these manage level staff had better afford the responsibility to establish and keep the ethical climate and nature inside their organization and meanwhile, they are also advised to have a thorough understanding of these ethical issues such as what the proper content of the ethical issues are necessary for their organizations and what the specific expectations these ethical issues may bring for their organization and so on.

In the real world of the business, we also have many evidences on management commitment about ethical issues in organizations. The former CEO of Enron Corporation, Kenneth Lay, had exemplified the concept of some ethical issues to the company for the sake of the company’ proper development in the future, which was proved relatively proper.

The second concern of this model is on the aspect of the codes of ethics, which was defined as the statements of the norms and beliefs of the organization with the intention to encourage the ways of thinking and patterns of attitude that will lead to the wanted behaviors in the organizations (Lloyd & Mey 2010, p. 3). Moreover, this journal has also emphasized the function of the codes of ethics for organizations. Firstly, it is helpful to institutionalize the ethical practices and climate in an organization. Secondly, if the code of ethics is properly designed and implemented, there may be no need to worry about the moral foundation inside an organization too much. The third concern is the ethics training, which includes lectures, videos, case studies, games, role plays, computer trainings and other kinds of means to help the organization’s employees to have a better knowledge on the ethical issues in their organization and then to perform better and relatively ethical behaviors mentioned by this journey. In fact, Stone (2011) the importance and content of the ethics training for employees in an organization in his book. That he held the idea that many multinational companies have put the ethics training in an important position, especially via offering their employees some advices and skills on dealing with some ethical dilemmas.

The last concern of the model is on the aspect named reward structures, whose importance was affirmed by not only this journal but also Trevino and Nelson (2007). The function of reward structure in encouraging and promoting ethical behaviors in companies is important. As both of the two sides advised the reward structures in an organization had better be injected with more elements related ethical issues, in another word, the reward system should also have the aspects to promote and reward the ethical behaviors of employees in their organization. As the social learning theory indicated, individual employees may learn a lot via observing and noticing the rewards as well as the punishments received due to their ethical or unethical behaviors in their organization, for which both this journal and other scholars have admitted already (Trevino and Nelson2007).

Moreover, this journey also offered many alternatives as the supplementary for the above discussed four issues. Such as the ethics audit, whistle blower protection, hotlines and ethics committee are all the recommended options by this journal. These means especially the whistle blower protection, hot lines are also recommended by Trevino and Nelson (2007). In the works of Trevino and Nelson (2007), the whistle blower protection and hot lines are suggested by them as a necessary means. For example, there are many tips and protection means for employees to blow the whistle including the approaching the immediate manager, listening to the advice from family, connecting company’s ethics offers for advice and so on (Butterfield et al. 2000).

By and large, the ethics model offered by this journal have also approved by many other scholars, which for the organization may be relatively proper to adopt.

3.3 To analyze the conclusion of the research and offer recommendations

Based on the information and date in this journal we can get the research conclusion of this report offered for us. Generally speaking, the conclusion we can made is that although the importance of ethical practices and the necessity of proper ethics interventions inside an organization become more and more importance and essential for all the organization in the current global market situation, the record data from this journal’s research disclose the fact that the ethics in today’s economic life is seemed as a delusion rather than the reality. That is to say, many organizations have admitted and realized the importance of the ethics inside the organization in their future and global expansion road, the practices in the real world need improving and strengthening as well.

This conclusion is also approved by Snell and Tseng (2001) and Baker (2005) and meanwhile, they also indicated that different countries have different focus level on the ethical issues on the business organizations, which also become the hindrance for organizations of implement their ethical practices wholeheartedly. Let take the corruption in business organizations for instance. In table 1.0, we can get different countries have different standard or acceptance level for corruption. Generally speaking, the more developed an economy, the less corrupt phenomenon in its organization. From this point of view, we may infer that organizations in those more developed countries may concern and practise the ethical behaviors much more than organizations in those less developed countries. In another word, organizations in the less developed countries may realize the importance of the ethical issues for the promising future of their business but it lacks the executive force and investment in establishing and maintains ethical climate and culture in their organizations (Magnusson 2002).

Table 1.0 transparency International Corruption Index, (2005)

(The least and most corrupt countries)

Least Corrupt Most Corrupt
Country 2005 Score Country 2005 Score
Iceland 9.7 Chad 1.7
Finland 9.6 Bangladesh 1.7
New Zealand 9.6 Turkmenistan 1.8
Denmark 9.5 Myanmar 1.8
Singapore 9.4 Haiti 1.8
Sweden 9.2 Nigeria 1.9
Switzerland 9.1 Equatorial Guinea 1.9
Norway 8.9 Cote d’lvoire 1.9
Australia 8.8 Angola 2.0
Austria 8.7 Tajikistan 2.1
Netherlands 8.6 Sudan 2.1
United Kingdom 8.6 Somalia 2.1
Luxembourg 8.5 Paraguay 2.1
Canada 8.4 Pakistan 2.1
Hong Kong 8.3 Kenya 2.1
Germany 8.2 Congo, Dem, Rep. 2.1


Source: www. for complete list

At the same time, this journey also proposed some recommendations in both the aspects of the organizations’ who will adopt the ethics intervention models and the future researchers who are intended to further dig into the ethics intervention means for organizations.

On the one hand, as many people advocated these recommendations for organization concerning with the ethical issues such as the evaluation on the ethical climate and nature inside an organization implemented the study proposed intervention measures, are relatively proper and precise. This kind of recommendation for organizations are also supported by Malan and Smit (2001) that, if an organization want to enjoy a sustainable prosperous, it is necessary for both its employees and its management to realize the importance of the healthy development. And the ethical practices are one of the healthy practices for an organization which requires a relatively proper mechanism in evaluation and training programs and so on.

On the other hand, the suggestions for the future researchers on the ethics interventions aspects are also worthy including some modification and adjustment to assist the implementation of these mentioned interventions on how to improve the effectiveness of the research, how to better understand the ethical climate of the target organization and how to avoid some mistakes and shortages of this study has encountered. Such kind of understanding and experiences in this research topic mentioned in the journal can work as some guidelines for the future study, which we should cherish.

4.0 Conclusion

Based on the above discussion and analysis, we can conclude the following findings.

Primarily, the background of this journal is under the influence of globalization and some relative serious economic crime situation in many organizations especially in the South African regions, which was prove to be a proper background analysis. Griffin and Pustay (2010) disclosed the urgency and necessity of the attention to the ethical issues and interventions for the global organizations. However, some other related backgrounds for the urgency and necessity in emphasis the ethical issues for organizations are ignored. As Murphy (2002) mentioned, the higher awareness of the public issues in the public is also become one of the reasons for organizations to practices the ethics interventions, which was aroused the attention of this journal. For instance, the former working experiences as the sales consultants of an education company also told me that the public namely the customers now have a high awareness and consciousness on the ethical behaviors of their selected company. And the more ethical behaviors and practices practised by the company, the high reputation of the organization will obtain. For instance, my former employer company’s charity activities in supporting poor children’ education fee had helped it gain more customers.

Moreover, in the conclusion part of this journal, although it pointed out the difference in the depth of ethics behaviors or interventions in organizations which is mostly due to the influence power of its internal elements such as the leadership and human resource management. This point is consistent with most industrial practices in organizations over the world, which is proved by Murphy (2002) as well. But this journal may lack some focus and emphasis on the environment differences of organizations in difference countries (Vuuren 2002).

Just as Vuuren (2002) pointed out that the cultural context in different countries may also differ the level and practices of ethical behaviors and interventions in organizations. The Chinese company, for instance, may focus the Guanxi net work, Ren Qing, Mianzi so much, in which some kinds of bribery or kickbacks receiving may be treated as reasonable and necessary (Chen 2004). For this reason, we may have this view that this journal may lack some concern on the cultural context and other related issues when it analyzing the ethics issues in the target areas.

5.0 Learning outcomes and recommendations

By and large, via the discussing and analyzing on this journal, we benefit a lot.

On the one hand, the background analysis of this journal on the proposition of ethical intervention model enriching our knowledge on the economic crime and the importance on the awareness of ethical intervention and behaviors for organizations all over the world.

On the other hand, the deliberate designed ethics intervention model of this journal enhances our understanding of these tactics and measures of organizational ethics interventions. Meanwhile, it also makes us find out and consider our shortage in conducting some ethical behaviors in our organizations, which can be treated as a proper guidelines for organizations which are intended or is implementing ethics interventions to modify and adjust their intervention measures or strategies.

Besides the above benefits gained from this journal, we also want to give some suggestions for this journal.

Firstly, besides the primary data collection means, the second hand data collection measure, we also recommended, because the second data may also have some crucial information or guidance for this research. Learning it can help researchers to avoid some mistakes and save time when encountering the same problems (Leedy & Ormrod 2001).

Secondly, we recommend this journal to offer more useful skills and implementation measures but not just too many theories, which may be more practical and useful for organizations for conduct the organizational ethics interventions.

6.0 Reference

Baker, A. B. 2005, Are standards becoming standard operating procedures, vol. 8, no.1, International Business Review, p. 3-7,

Barry, N. 1999, Business ethics, Purdue University Press, West Lafayette,

Beattle, A. 2002, Corporate scandals will cost the U.S $ 35 bn, vol.5, no 4, The Financial Times,

Butterfield, K., Trevino, L.K. & Weaver, G. R. 2000, Moral awareness in business organizations: influences of issue-related and social context factors, Human Relations, vol. 53, no. 7, p. 981-1018,

Cascio, W.F. 2010, Managing human resources: Productivity, quality of work life, profits, 8th edn, McGraw Hill,

Chen 2004, Asian management systems, Thomson, Singapore,

Griffin, R. W. & Pustay, M. W. 2010, International business, 6th edn, Pearson, New Jersey,

Leedy, P. & Ormrod, J. 2001, Practical research: Planning and design, 7th edn, Merrill Prentice Hall, Thousand Oaks,

Lloyd, H. R. & Mey, M. R. 2010, An ethics model to develop an ethical organization, electronic version, SA Journal of Human Resource Management, viewed 8 October 2011, p. 3,

Magnusson 2002, Making a federal case out of overseas abuses, vol.25, no. 78, Business Week,

Malan, F., & Smit, B. 2001, Ethics and leadership in business and politics, Lansdowne,

Marshall, A. 2000, Knowing what’s ahead can prevent looking back with regret, vol. 6, no. 10, Hotel and Motel Management,

Murphy, D. 2002, The federal sentencing guidelines for organizations: A decade of promotion compliance and ethics, v ol.87, Iowa Law Review, p. 697-719,

Snell, R.S. & Tseng, C. 2001, Ethical dilemmas of relationships building in China, vol.43, no. 2, p. 171-200,Thunderbird International Business Review,

Stone, R. J. 2011, Human resource management, 7th edn, John Wiley & Sons, Milton Old,

Trevino, L. & Nelson, K. A. 2007, Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right, 4th edn, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken,

Vuuren, V. L.J. 2002, Institutionalizing business ethics: A multi-level ethics strategy, vol.2, Management Dynamics, p.21–27.

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