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


Business Ethics
Ethical Behaviour
Financial Sector
Locus Of Control
Unethical Behaviour


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 sector in 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.

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