The perpetration of theft by employees in a nursing home is the subject of this study. The investigation focuses mainly on the theft of clients’/residents’ possessions by those people who are supposed to care for them. Previous research indicated a relationship between ethical climate and the behavioural outputs of employees in an organization. This research, which is mainly qualitative in nature, endeavours to study the assumed relation between ethical climate and theft by employees in a specific location, namely at Vergenoeg vir Seniors, an old age home in Pretoria. With the aid of a standardized questionnaire the nature of the ethical climate in the home is clarified. Thereafter the results are evaluated and investigated by utilizing (i) a focus group interview and (ii) six in- depth individual interviews. Certain substantial and formal tendencies which present themselves, are discussed fully. For example, it is detected that “rules and regulations” play a paramount role as regards ethical climate, whereas “friendship and team work” rate very low. Ethical climate however does affect employee theft. Therefore it is recommended that this aspect should be managed with care and should also enhance the climate type of “social responsibility”. Other recommendations involve the need for team building and proper job descriptions, as well as dealing with the perception of most older people that theft practices differ according to race. Finally, some suggestions for further study are made.
Dissertation (MCom (Human Resources Management))--University of Pretoria, 2005.