Proceedings

NPR – Ethical Perceptions: Management Versus Production At A Large Multinational Seed Company (p257-267)

This study determines the ethical profiles and dispositions of three groups of managers in South Africa. These groups consisted of:
a) Top & Middle Managers from a specific company active in the agricultural sector in South Africa.
b) Production Managers from a specific company active in the agricultural sector in South Africa.
The research objectives were to, firstly, measure the ethical views of the groups as it pertain to questionable actions undertaken by anonymous businesses and consumers. Secondly, to identify ethical discrepancies that exist among the different respondent groups, and thirdly, once identified, to determine the statistical significance of those differences. The research uses a well-tested research tool developed by Fullerton (1993) that poses an international battery of questionable actions by management. Individual as well as company behaviour is tested within the research instrument. The research provides a snapshot of the three chosen groups. Overall, the aggregate sample’s ethical dispositions offer no evidence for concern, especially regarding individual behaviour. When segmented on the basis of field of study, the groups also do not differ significantly from each other on individual ethical behaviour. Regarding company ethics, the groups also show acceptable ethical dispositions; however, they differ more in their views of which actions are acceptable and which are not, and more so with regard to company behaviour than with individual behaviour. Still, all of the groups show a high level of ethical standards, and the grand means calculated for each group show that it cannot be concluded that neither group of managers regard the RSA environment to be a laissez faire society where anything goes.

Keywords: Multinational company, ethical perceptions, business ethics, code of conduct

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Author(s): Bisschoff, C., Craven, P.

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Organizations(s): North-West University