South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences
On-line version ISSN 1015-8812
DE BEER, Frank and DU TOIT, Daniel Hercules. Human resources managers as custodians of the King III code. S. Afr. j. econ. manag. sci. [online]. 2015, vol.18, n.2, pp. 206-217. ISSN 1015-8812. http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2222-3436/2015/v18n2a5.
The objective of this research was to perform an exploratory study on the knowledge and understanding of the King III code among Human Resources (HR) managers in South African companies. The King III code is a comprehensive international corporate governance regime which addresses the financial, social, ethical and environmental practices of organisations. HR management plays a role in managing corporate governance by using the King III code as a guideline. The main research questions were: Does HR management know, understand, apply, and have the ability to use the King III code in terms of ethical decision-making? What role does HR management play in corporate governance? A random sample of available HR managers, senior HR consultants and HR directors was taken and semi-structured interviews were conducted. The results indicated that the respondents had no in-depth knowledge of the King III code. They did not fully understand the King III code and its implications nor did they use it to ensure ethical management. The themes most emphasised by the participants were: culture, reward and remuneration, policies and procedures and performance management. The participants emphasised the importance of these items and HR's role in managing them.
Keywords : ethical behaviour; ethics; King III code; corporate governance; HR management.