Die bestuur van die sosiaal-etiese verantwoordelikheid in 'n suiwelvervaardigingsonderneming in Suid-Afrika
Du Plessis, Wympje
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Organisations play a major and increasingly important role in the lives of all of us, especially with the growth of large-scale business and the divorce of ownership from management. The decisions and actions of management in organisations have an increasing impact on individuals, other organisations and the community. The power and influence which many business organisations now exercise should be tempered, therefore, by an attitude of responsibility by management. The recognition of the importance of social-ethical responsibilities can be gauged in part by the extent of government action and legislation on such matters as, for example, employment protection, equal opportunities, companies acts, consumer law, product liability and safeguarding the environment. The importance of the exercise of social-ethical responsibility can no longer be based on the assumption that the self-interest of the owner of property will lead to the public good, or that self-interest and public good can be kept apart and considered to have nothing to do with each other. On the contrary, it requires of the manager that he assume responsibility for the public good, that the subordinate his actions to an ethical standard of conduct, and that he restrain his self-interest and his authority wherever their exercise would infringe upon the common weal and upon the freedom of the individual. THE AIM OF THE STUDY Organisational survival is dependent upon a series of exchanges between the organisation and its environment. These exchanges and the continual interaction with the environment give rise to a number of broader responsibilities to society in general. These broader responsibilities, which are both internal and external to the organisation, are usually referred to as social-ethical responsibilities. These social-ethical responsibilities arise from the interdependence of organisations, society and the environment. The major aims of this study were the following: • To analyse how the social-ethical responsibility in an organisation can be managed, especially with the use of social-ethical code of conduct; • To determine the role of social-ethical rights and the implementation of these rights into an organisation's working environment. METHOD AND SAMPLE A theoretical orientation was done with regard to business ethics and social responsibility within an institutional context and discussed within the framework of managing business ethics and social responsibility. In the empirical survey, a questionnaire was developed taking into account information gathered from a review of literature in the field of business ethics and social responsibility. The questionnaire was carefully screened and pretested. With the help of the study leader, Company X was decided on to be part of this study. With the help of the Manager: Public Resource Management of Company X 160 representatives was selected. A total of 129 were returned and this represented a 80.63% response rate. This response was regarded to be highly satisfactory for this being an explorative investigation.