The Guide recommends an ethical framework that serves as a point of reference in decision-making, rather than prescriptive rules (e.g. in the form of a code of conduct) that will not cover every possible scenario. The framework, reflecting the entity’s purpose, values and principles, will then give shape to its organisational culture.
The Guide offers useful insights on building a sound corporate culture:
1. Identify the organisation’s desired culture and formulate an ethical framework to guide decision-making at all levels. This framework should align with the defined purpose of the organisation and be core to the governance framework. It should also be practical, authentic, stable and comprehensible to those required to actually apply the framework.
2. Assess all aspects of the organisation to ensure alignment with the framework by way of surveys, dashboards, interviews, focus groups and/or an in-depth review of policies and procedures. Any misalignment requires sound justification and approval.
3. Embed the ethical framework throughout the organisation so that it is reflected in its business strategy and model, policies, procedures and practices. The diagram below shows how each of the following roles can assist in translating the desired culture set at the top into actual practices of the business: