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GIBS Ethics Barometer

The GIBS Ethics Barometer is positioned at the intersection of academia and action. It combines a commitment to independent, rigorous research with a clear focus on achieving impact and making a practical contribution. Building on GIBS’ reputation as the ‘business school of business’, the Ethics Barometer aims to deliver benefits on both a micro and macro level - to individual companies as well as to the broader business community. 

Underlying this initiative is the recognition of a problematic paradox. Many individuals and corporations may well appreciate, on a conceptual level, the importance of ethics. However, in the absence of a clear metric, conversations about ethics run the risk of becoming vague, amorphous and fuzzy. It is this ‘soft underbelly’ which the Ethics Barometer addresses. Through a combination of quantitative and qualitative data-driven insights, the Ethics Barometer opens the door to a more meaningful assessment of the ethical performance of South African corporations. Since the conversations which the instrument enables are rooted in empirical evidence, they
have more credibility and hence the potential for greater influence and impact. 

The Ethics Barometer sets out to empower leaders to more effectively measure and thereby manage ethical performance. It does so on the basis that ethical behaviour builds trust and is ultimately critical for the success of both organisations and society. In its inaugural phase, the Ethics Barometer engaged with over 8,000 employees of 15 leading South African companies. The companies were drawn from diverse sectors including banking, insurance, financial services, mining, property, retail, leisure and professional services. The instrument assessed employee perceptions about a wide range of behaviours in their organisations. Company-specific data was aggregated and anonymised into the general data, allowing for the establishment of a national benchmark. This enabled organisations to compare their ethical performance to that of their peers.

Ethics Barometer Online Report_.pdf

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