Codes, Ethics and Cross-Cultural Differences: Stories from the Implementation of a Corporate Code of Ethics in a MNC Subsidiary

Journal of Business Ethics 82 (2):281-291 (2008)
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In this article, we focus on the cross-cultural aspects of the implementation of an American company's code of ethics into its Swedish subsidiary. We identify the cross-cultural stories that the receivers in the subsidiary use when trying to explain the parent's code and conceptualize these stories as part of an emerging narrative of national belonging and differences. The receivers resisted the code by amplifying the importance of national identity. Rather than stimulating a discussion on ethics that might have strengthened the ties between the parent and the subsidiary, the outcome of the code implementation had the opposite effect. The article concludes by stressing the process of implementing codes across cultures rather than code content



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