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What is Business Ethics?

Business ethics is the study of appropriate business policies and practices regarding potentially controversial subjects including corporate governance, insider trading, bribery, discrimination, corporate social responsibility, and fiduciary responsibilities. The law often guides business ethics, but at other times business ethics provide a basic guideline that businesses can choose to follow to gain public approval.

Integrity is one of the core values that funders must determine in the value system of any potential entrepreneurial company before investing. To act with integrity is to ensure that every decision made is based on ethical and moral principles. Integrity is vital to building a relationship of trust between the funder and the entrepreneur.

Why is Business ethics important?

Corruption is pervasive cancer that attacks all sectors of society, international organisations, and all socio-economic formations, to varying degrees. It reveals itself in various counter-productive behaviours, including bribery, fraud, embezzlement, extortion, conflict of interest, abuse of discretion, abuse of power, lack of productivity, sabotage and vandalism.

Corruption, therefore, has devastating effects on any organisation or business relationship. These behaviours become damaging and costly to organisations and harmful to the sustainability of an organization.

Unethical behaviour in Business can lead to:

Mistrust in relations between the funding organization and the
entrepreneurial company

General morale issues

Increased employee turnover may lead to further expenses and more challenging employee recruitment

Productivity can decline

Increased misconduct and internal conflict

Insubordination

Significant financial loss

Legal issues may also arise, depending on the severity of the situation

Loss of credibility

Reputational risk

Integrity Profile

We are specialists in the holistic assessment and profiling of people with integrity and ethics.

Comprehensive international research over many years was conducted on the Integrity Profile to determine and scientifically describe the concept of integrity and to develop the instrument to measure it in terms of acknowledged psychometric procedures. The Integrity Profile is a Comprehensive Integrity Measurement Tool in the World of Work and was funded by the World Bank.

The Integrity Profile is continuously upgraded and refined and is regarded as one of the top international psychometric integrity assessment instruments available. Scoring is completely computerised and the user has the choice to use an ‘on-line’ approach in the entire administrative process which enables ease of application on an international level.

The Integrity Profile measures the following substructures of Integrity:

Socialization

This is the degree of socialization the candidate was exposed to and the extent to which they internalized the values, standards, and traditions transferred to them and the extent to which their behaviour will be influenced by it in practice.

Trustworthiness

This expresses the degree of dependency, honesty, loyalty, and conscientiousness the candidate developed as a “guide-orientation” in the day-to-day behaviour they are presently known for.

Credibility

Credibility is closely associated with the concept of work. Credibility expresses the degree to which the candidate is considered predictable and consistent and possesses the skills to perform their work.

Work Ethics

This describes the candidate in terms of their degree of motivation, self-reliance, cooperation, responsibility as well as their pride in the work and the organization they are employed in – their positive orientation to work per sé, is being measured.

Attitudes: Integrity Constraining

This expresses the orientation the candidate has developed over time and their experience in different situations regarding specific critical subjects that have a guiding influence in how they deal with these and related issues.

Functional vs. Dysfunctional Behaviour

This expresses the candidate’s historical, present, and future behavioural and projected typical behavioural inclination – good and bad. This is not a ‘once-off behaviour, but a behaviour pattern that acquired a degree of permanency, influencing their present and future perception and behaviour.

Manipulative Abuse of Power

This is the inclination to resorting to manipulatively related attributes and behaviour when dealing with others to promote their own interest e.g. by abusing the power at their disposal, and not caring for (the interests of) others.

Values

This expresses the degree to which certain critical attributes evolved as central ‘role-players’ in the candidate’s total cognitive and emotional psyche to guide their way of thinking, and behaviour on an ongoing basis, thus providing stability to the person’s life.

Lie Detector

This reflects the degree of the candidate’s honesty, objectivity and open-mindedness when completing the integrity questionnaire. A low score is a strong indication of a dishonest orientation because the candidates are warned against misrepresenting themselves during the completion of the questionnaire.

Consistency

This score reflects the extent to which the candidate understood the items and the language used as well as the purpose the test serves.

Unnatural Exaggeration

This score reflects the candidate’s tendency to typically inflate their responses on the test items.

Integrity Measuring Instrument (IMI)

The IMI is developed from the Integrity Profile, is overt and direct in its basic approach to measuring Integrity. It consists of 100 test items and provides the user with 10 scales on which to base their decision(s). The IMI also meets internationally accepted standards and was designed in accordance with principles of good practice in psychometric testing.

Measuring Areas – Ten Substructures of Integrity:

Honesty: A candidate’s perception of themselves as well as how they believe they are being perceived by others.

Stealing/Theft: Respect for the property of others and non-violation of this approach.

Violation of policy, rules & regulations: Adherence to stipulated rules and regulations, and the respect thereof.

Reliability and Dependability: The degree to which the candidate can be relied upon, which also implies a high probability of loyalty to work and colleagues.

Lying: The specific orientation towards the concept of lying with its associated manifestations of deceit, falsification, perjury and the deliberate misleading of, and misrepresentation to, others.

Denial, Projection & Justification: This area assesses the candidate’s open and honest perception of their own shortcomings and accepting accountability for their own mistakes, or (by implication) their typical tendency to deny the existence thereof.

Work Ethic: This area assesses the values associated with the moral virtues of hard work and diligence.

Manipulation: This area assesses the degree to which a candidate will tend to abuse any power at their disposal, using it to manipulate others in their self-serving quest.

Verifiable Items: This area assesses in a more objective, tangible, and verifiable way, deviations in the candidate’s behaviour from the generally accepted day-to-day norms. In this case, attitude and general orientation to each factor are not being assessed, but rather a ‘recorded’ history of misbehaviour in each of the above.

Lie Detector: This is the degree to which the candidate was objective, open-minded and accurate in completing the IMI by providing valid responses on the items and presenting a true and honest picture of themselves.

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