David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Business Ethics 41 (1-2):27 - 43 (2002)
Are corporate codes of ethics necessarily ethical? To challenge this notion, an initial set of universal moral standards is proposed by which all corporate codes of ethics can be ethically evaluated. The set of universal moral standards includes: (1) trustworthiness; (2) respect; (3) responsibility; (4) fairness; (5) caring; and (6) citizenship. By applying the six moral standards to four different stages of code development (i.e., content, creation, implementation, administration), a code of ethics for corporate codes of ethics is constructed by which companies can be ethically audited for compliance. The newly proposed code of ethics for corporate codes of ethics was then applied to four large Canadian companies representing a variety of industries: telecommunications; banking, manufacturing, and high technology. The ethical audit of the four companies' ethics programs based on the proposed code indicates that all four companies have room to improve the ethical nature of their codes of ethics (i.e., content, creation, implementation, administration).
|Keywords||codes corporations ethical audit ethics|
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Göran Svensson, Greg Wood & Michael Callaghan (2010). A Comparison of Business Ethics Commitment in Private and Public Sector Organizations in Sweden. Business Ethics 19 (2):213-232.
Margaret Forster, Tim Loughran & Bill McDonald (2009). Commonality in Codes of Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics 90 (2):129 - 139.
Göran Svensson, Greg Wood, Jang Singh & Michael Callaghan (2009). A Cross-Cultural Construct of the Ethos of the Corporate Codes of Ethics: Australia, Canada and Sweden. Business Ethics 18 (3):253-267.
Richard A. Bernardi & Catherine C. LaCross (2010). International Website Disclosure of Codes of Ethics: Auditor-Specific and Stock-Exchange-Listing Differences. Business Ethics 19 (2):113-125.
Göran Svensson, Greg Wood, Jang Singh & Michael Callaghan (2009). Implementation, Communication and Benefits of Corporate Codes of Ethics: An International and Longitudinal Approach for Australia, Canada and Sweden. Business Ethics 18 (4):389-407.
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