Can corporate codes of ethics influence behavior?

Journal of Business Ethics 17 (6):619 - 630 (1998)
Abstract
There is increasing public interest in understanding the nature of corporate ethics due to the knowledge that unethical decisions and activities frequently undermine the performance and abilities of many organizations. Of the current literature found on the topic of ways organizations can influence ethical behavior, a majority is found on the issue of corporate codes of ethics.Most discussions on codes of ethics evaluate the contents of the codes and offer opinions on their wording, content, and/or value. Unfortunately, very little research has been devoted towards discovering whether they are effective in promoting ethical decision-making behavior. Thus, due to the lack of empirical research on this particular topic, this paper attempts to further address this issue.
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