Corporate scandals such as those experienced at Enron, WorldCom and more recently Parmalat have given rise to a growing interest in business ethics on the part of both managers and management scientists alike. As a result organisations have moved towards a more ethical approach to conducting business. This paper reports the results of a survey conducted among persons registered with the South African Board for Personnel Practice (SABPP) regarding their involvement in and experience of business ethics and
unethical behaviour within their organisations. The responses from 306 respondents reflect a high level of observed unethical behaviour. The results of the study indicate that the observed level of unethical behaviour within organisations is influenced by the presence of written ethical standards, ethics training initiatives and an ethics office/ombudsman. The level of unethical behaviour is also shown to differ across different industry types and organisational sizes.