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Organizational analysis

Organizational Analysis

We will reach the Organizational Analys through the following topics:

  • An assessment of ethical climate possibly utilizing a credible, tested and available tool, such as Victor & Cullen’s Ethical Climate Survey (ECQ).
  • A survey of employee staff attitudes about general management issues (not ethics per se) to gauge the organizational climate (as distinct from the ethical climate).
  • An internal stakeholder analysis through significant consultation with a range of people in the organization, preferably taking a horizontal slice so as to tap all areas and all levels, to determine the degree of resistance or support for an integrity implementation strategy and the various potential elements of it.
  • A values analysis, to determine by what fundamental values the organization currently operates, the sources of these values, what matters of principle are sacrosanct and the degree to which these values are entrenched and have been adopted and adhered to.
  • A corporate governance assessment, examining the degree to which the organization has embraced good governance practices and the degree to which integrity and ethics are seen as integral element of governance or external to it.
  • A fraud and corruption risk assessment, to determine the level of risk inherent in the organization.
  • An external stakeholder analysis to determine the level of satisfaction (or otherwise) of all external stakeholders, with the integrity of the organization, client/customer attitudes towards the organizations

 It is stressed that these steps are the ideal, but may not be practicable, acceptable or appropriate in every setting. To do all would be a mammoth task, so this is a wish list, but some are crucial. However, the degree to which one can go into an implementation phase well-prepared and armed with these types of parcels of knowledge, can be a determinant of the likelihood of getting the implementation strategy right, accepted and thereby achieving positive outcomes.

Characterizing the «Ethical Organization»

Three overlapping elements:

1- Matters of Principle: the degree to which these have been adopted and adhered to;

2 — Stakeholder Analysis: the level of satisfaction of all stakeholders, with the ethics of the organization;


3 — Corporate Governance: the degree to which the organization has embraced good governance practices. (From: Kitson, A & Campbell, R., The Ethical Organisation, Macmillan, London, 1996.)Ethics Audits (incl: Self-auditing processes)

  The Influence of Ethical Climate

  •  Clearly the climate of an organization can directly influence individual responses to ethical dilemmas.
  • One very useful example of work in this area is by Victor and Cullen, through their use of their Ethical

 More recently moved to six climate types: «Professionalism», «Caring», «Rules», «Instrumental», «Efficiency» and «Independence».

«Caring» climates are perceived as having a strong positive link with ethical behaviour c/f for example with «Instrumental» climates

Organisational ethical climate appears to be a key defining factor in influencing individual ethical decision-making and behaviour.

  1. Caring: An expectation of a concern for people, combined with a concern for efficiency;
  2. Law and Code: An expectation that people will follow legal and professional standards;
  3. Rules: An expectation that people will follow organisational rules and procedures;
  4. Instrumental: An expectation that whatever needs to be done to further organisation’s interests, should be done; and
  5. Independence: An expectation that decisions will be guided by people’s own individual values and principles.

 Awareness Raising, Education & Training

The methods employed and usefulness (or otherwise) of raising awareness, as well as educating and training people in ethical standards and expectations.

Key Elements:

  •  «Public» statements of values & expectations of organisation
  • Information sessions outlining values, standards, principles and guidelines
  • Open Forums on Ethics
  • Training in ethical decision-making processes
  • Specific Training for Specialists (eg: auditors, purchasers, HRMs nurses, police etc.)
  • Integral to all Management Training
  • Include in all Employee Orientation


Awareness Raising

For any organisation or profession that wishes to raise awareness of, and promote, ethical behaviour, the following are possible areas of need:

  •  Initial «Launch» preferably by the CEO, or head of Professional Institute etc. firmly and widely announcing the new strategy, code, practices, expectations.
  • Information packages & briefings for senior staff or members of the profession, highlighting theirspecific responsibilities for setting examples, awareness raising, ensuring compliance etc.
  • An abridged version   of the strategy / code, covering key principles distributed to allinterested parties, explaining points of access for enquiries or complaints about unethical behaviour.
  • Articles, interviews, items in newspapers/journals, eg: dailies, periodicals, local & communitynewspapers, ethnic press, professional journals etc. (as appropriate).
    Accepting/offering lectures and talks on the Strategy/Code at venues, conferences, seminars etc.
  • Inputs into the formal education system, eg: conferring with teachers/academics to influence coursecontent, making presentations to students etc; and.
  • Collaborative projects (research, surveys etc) with other organisations carrying out ethics research:
  • Industry Associations, Trade Unions, Universities, Public Sector, Professional bodies etc.

Ethics Education & Training: Common Deficiencies

  •  No values analysis done of the organisation on which to base learning
  • No established standards within the organisation (nothing to teach !)
  • No person or body charged with the responsibility for the integrity and ethics agenda
  • Few, if any, other training programs include an ethics component (eg: Management Development)
  • Few, if any, specially designed programs dealing with ethics for specific groups, professionals withspecial needs/interests (eg: auditors, purchasing and contracts staff, HR staff etc.), especially «at risk»

Ethics Education & Training: Basic Principles

  1.  If possible, should be mandatory for all members of the organisation or entity and sometimes othersperipheral to the organisation (suppliers, consultants)
  2. It is not possible to «train» people to behave ethically, merely to make them aware of the issues, thebenefits of integrity and the penalties for transgression;
  3. Must mention but minimise the negative and not be accusatory or confrontational;
  4. Needs not only to deal with the obvious, but the unconscious behaviours that people do not alwaysassociate with ethics;
  5. Emphasis given to how ethics can permeate other systems and processes, eg: IT, selection &recruitment, use of property, cash handling, supervision of staff, EEO etc.;
  6. Training should be participative and interactive, using believable «real-life» situations in case studies/scenarios, and small group discussions to bring out principles and standards;
  7. The purpose of changing people’s behaviour and to have ethical standards reflected in and incorporated into all decision making processes and management systems
    should demystify ethics and communicate standards in the most straight forward and accessible terms; and
  8. Ultimately the majority of basic ethics training should be subsumed within normal training activities as simply «best practice» such as inductio
    n, sales training, management development etc.

Who should be included ?

  •  All employees from CEO down (in order of priority as to need)
  • All new employees through orientation (all levels of recruits)
  • Specialised training for people in marketing, advertising, HRM, product safety etc.
  • Priority for those perceived to be at potentially high risk of susceptibility (EG: direct public contact,security, contracts, property management, cash-handling etc., distant from HQ etc.).

General content of ethics training

  1.  Reasons why Ethics is important;
  2. Introduction to the theory of Ethics and to terminology;
  3. Minimum standards that apply to the organisation or entity;
  4. Coverage of the range of issues pertinent to organisation or profession;
  5. Examples of situations that can arise and how they should be dealt with; and
  6. Questions and Answers on any aspect of ethics in organisation / entity

Training should be evaluated and monitored over time to ensure that it is having an effect on behaviour.

 Some possible generic programs for various groups:

CEOs and senior executives

  •  Introduction to ethics issues and the scope of ethical considerations, as these apply to the organization or profession;
  • Special roles of CEO and senior managers;
  • Ethics issues and their roles within industry-wide context and, if relevant, internationally;
  • Ethics and management systems eg: impact on areas such as HRM, financial management, property and assets management, purchasing, sales, contracts etc (as appropriate);
  • Self-assessment techniques for senior managers;
  • The right way to approach instances of alleged improper conduct (investigations etc.);
  • Legal issues related to ethics relevant to the industry, organisation or profession; and
  • Where to seek further advice and/or consultancy.

Middle Managers & Supervisors

  • Introduction to ethics issues and the scope of ethical considerations, as these apply to their roles in the industry, organization or profession;
  • The role of the manager and supervisor in dealing with ethics (advising staff, setting examples, being vigilant regarding potential ethical issues within their areas of control etc.).
  • Identifying and resolving ethical issues ( eg: conflicts of interest).
  • Ethics and management systems eg: impact on areas such as HRM, financial management, property and assets management, purchasing, sales, contracts etc (especially where these are devolved) etc.
  • Ethical issues in the provision of products and services to customers (eg: marketing, supply, quality etc).
  • Self-assessment techniques for managers;
  • The right way to approach instances of alleged improper conduct (investigations etc.)
  • Where to seek further advice and/or consultancy.

New Employees

  •  Roles and responsibilities within organisation or profession, expectations;
  • Following the right behavioural examples at work (custom and practice may not be the right conduct to emulate);
  • Maintaining your own values and setting yourself high standards of ethical behaviour;
  • Introduction to ethics issues and the scope of ethical considerations relevant to the industry, organisation or profession;
  • Confidentiality, security of information, privacy and Freedom of Information (the customer’s expectations and rights etc.);
  • Appropriate and inappropriate ways of handling matters, seeking information, seeking cooperation or action and how to seek assistance with ethical problems;
  • Penalties for non-compliance with standards / Codes etc.

Human Resource Managers

  •  Ethics issues generally as these apply to HRM;
  • The special role(s) of the HRM and staff in training and awareness raising (if this is in their charter).
  • Ethics and HRM Systems, eg: staff selection, discipline, grievances, performance management,
  • conflict of interests, proper conduct etc.
  • Non-compliance, case-handling and investigations.
  • Professional roles and responsibilities (balancing dual loyalties)
  • Where to seek and support and advice

Special advisors and/or ministerial staff (mainly in the public sector)

  • Ethics and the Public Sector: An introduction to ethics issues and the scope of ethical considerations,as these apply to public sector employees at all levels. The proper and improper roles of public sector employees.
  • The special role of ministerial staff and their responsibilities in dealing with agency staff («do’s and don’ts», particular ethical issues which can arise etc.).
  • Appropriate and inappropriate ways of handling matters, seeking information, seeking cooperation or action etc. Proper and improper points of access.
  • Central agency roles, responsibilities and support (advisory and consultancy) services available to them.

An example of an «Ethics Training Matrix» used by one organisation

Ethics Subject CEOs Managers All Employees
Ethics in this industry
Purchasing / Sales
Staff Selection
Confidentiality / Privacy
Freedom of Information
Conflicts of Interest
Fees, Rewards, Gifts,
Gratuities, Bribes
Interaction with
Boards, Committees &
outside bodies
Working with senior executives
Lawful / unlawful
Working with Consultants
Investigations &

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