2017 Plenary Speakers

Leon van Vuuren

Once upon a time … From leadership ethical courage to stories to culture

About Leon van Vuuren:

Leon has held the position of Executive: Professional and Business Ethics at the Ethics Institute of South Africa (EthicsSA) since 1 July 2014. Prior to that he was a professor in Industrial Psychology in the Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management (IPPM) at the University of Johannesburg where he taught industrial psychology and business and professional ethics for 26 years.

He holds a D.Com in Industrial Psychology and is professionally registered as a Psychologist (Speciality: Industrial) with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), and as a Human Resource Management Practitioner with the South African Board for People Practices (SABPP). During 2000 he completed a course in Managing Ethics in Organisations presented by the American Ethics Officer Association and the Centre for Business Ethics at the Graduate School of Business at Bentley University.

During 2010 he was appointed by the South African Minister of Health to serve on the Professional Board for Psychology of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) for a five-year term (2010-2015). In this capacity he is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board, a member of the Education Committee and the Chairperson of the Committee for Preliminary Inquiry (Ethics Committee) – in the latter capacity he is the convenor of a multi-stakeholder task team responsible for a total revision of the regulations and codes that govern professional ethics in psychology in South Africa. As Board member he is also the convenor of the Scope of Practice Task Team for the Profession of Psychology in South Africa.

Leon has published numerous articles in international and national scholarly journals. He is co-author of Business Ethics (5th ed., 2014) and is the founding editor of the African Journal of Business Ethics. During 2013 he was awarded honorary life membership of Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology of South Africa (SIOPSA) for his contribution to this discipline and profession. He has received awards for ‘best paper’ at scholarly conferences on several occasions. He serves on the Nominations Committee of the Board of the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA).

His areas of specialisation include consultation, teaching and research in business and professional ethics. He specialises in the strategic institutionalisation of business ethics, corporate ethical culture transformation and the implementation of a corporate ethics management function in private sector organisations. His clients include AngloGoldAshanti, Basil Read, Nedbank, Vodacom, UNISA, MTN, First National Bank, Naspers and Harmony Gold.

He played a key role in the development of the Code of Ethics of the South African Board for People Practices (SABPP). He is also the convenor of the ‘Future Fit’ professional ethics task team of the SIOPSA. In the latter regard he was the primary author of the Industrial Psychologists’ Oath. Leon is currently involved as editor of a comprehensive handbook for ethical practice in psychology.