Corporate codes of ethics: necessary but not sufficient

Business Ethics: A European Review 17 (4):405-415 (2008)
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Abstract

While most large companies around the world now have a code of ethics, reported ethical malpractice among some of these does not appear to be abating. The reasons for this are explored, using academic studies, survey reports as well as insights gained from the Institute of Business Ethics' work with large corporations. These indicate that there is a gap between the existence of explicit ethical values and principles, often expressed in the form of a code, and the attitudes and behaviour of the organisation. The paper suggests that two basic reasons appear to be at the heart of the problem: ineffective ethics programmes and deficiencies in corporate culture. The paper concludes that successfully embedded corporate ethical values requires well‐designed ethics policies, sustained ethical leadership and incorporation of ethics in organisational processes and strategy as part of an ethical culture at all levels of the organisation. It makes some practical suggestions on how this can be achieved.

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References found in this work

Living up to our values: developing ethical assurance.Nicole Dando - 2006 - London: Institute of Business Ethics. Edited by Raven Walter.
Organizational ethical culture: Real or imagined? [REVIEW]Susan Key - 1999 - Journal of Business Ethics 20 (3):217 - 225.

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