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versión On-line ISSN 2304-8557
versión impresa ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.76 no.2 Pretoria  2011


The relationship between locus of control and ethical behaviour among employees in the financial sector


Die verband tussen lokus van beheer en etiese gedrag onder werknemers in die finansiële sektor



E. Boshoff; E.S. van Zyl

Faculty of Economic & Management Sciences, Department of Industrial Psychology, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein E-mail:




Unethical behaviour is a rapidly escalating trend in the current work situation, where - within organisations - there appears to be a decrease in ethical behaviour at a national as well as international level. Employees within the financial sector form a specific area of interest concerning ethical behaviour in South Africa. Various incidents of unethical conduct are reported within the financial sector, necessitating a specific focus on factors which may influence ethical behaviour. Current research supports a person-situation-interaction approach to ethical decision-making, where both individual and situational factors influence the decisions of individuals. Research indicate that individual factors such as locus of control may influence ethical behaviour. The way these variables are related among employees in the financial sector in South Africa, however, has not as yet been demonstrated. In order to determine the relationship between locus of control and ethical behaviour, Schepers' Locus of Control Questionnaire and the Work Beliefs Questionnaire were administered to 100 employees in the financial sectorin Bloemfontein. Statistically significant relationships (p<0,05) were found between internal locus of control and ethical behaviour, external locus of control and ethical behaviour, as well as autonomy and ethical behaviour. Recommendations were made in the light of the results regarding the development of strategies and interventions to minimise unethical behaviour within organisations.

Key concepts: business ethics, ethical behaviour, financial sector, locus of control, unethical behaviour


Onetiese gedrag is 'n snel-eskalerende tendens in die huidige werksituasie, waar daar binne organisasies 'n verval in etiese gedrag op nasionale sowel as internasionale vlak blyk te wees. Werknemers in die finansiële sektor in Suid-Afrika vorm 'n bepaalde area van belang rakende etiese gedrag. Verskeie in-sidente van onetiese gedrag word binne die finansiële sektor gerapporteer en noodsaak 'n fokus op faktore wat etiese gedrag mag beïnvloed. Huidige navorsing ondersteun 'n persoonsituasie-interaksiebenadering tot etiese besluitneming, waar sowel individuele as situasionele faktore die individu se besluite beïnvloed. Navorsing dui daarop dat individuele faktore soos lokus van beheer n invloed op etiese gedrag mag uitoefen. Die wyse waarvolgens hierdie veranderlikes met mekaar verband hou, is nog nie ondersoek ten opsigte van werknemers in die Suid-Afrikaanse finansiële sektor nie. Ten einde die verband tussen lokus van beheer en etiese gedrag te bepaal, is Schepers se Lokus van Beheervraelys asook die Werksoortuigingsvraelys afgeneem op 100 werknemers in die finansiële sektor in Bloemfontein. Statisties-beduidende verbande (p<0,05) is ge-vind tussen interne lokus van beheer en etiese gedrag, ekster-ne lokus van beheer en etiese gedrag, asook outonomie en etiese gedrag. Op grond van die resultate is aanbevelings gemaak aangaande die ontwikkeling van strategieë en intervensies om onetiese gedrag binne organisasies te verminder.

Kernbegrippe: besigheidsetiek, etiese gedrag, finansiële sektor, lokus van beheer, onetiese gedrag



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