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International standards of business conduct: framework and illustration

Göran Svensson (Oslo School of Management, Oslo, Norway)
Greg Wood (Bowater School of Management and Marketing, Deakin University, Warrnambool, Australia)

European Business Review

ISSN: 0955-534X

Article publication date: 16 May 2008




The purpose of this paper is to describe the insights and a proposal into the structure of standards of business conduct and its intended applications.


The case study is based upon an inductive content analysis of corporate ethics artefacts.


It is concluded that the standards of business conduct may be highly prescriptive in world wide corporations, but that there should be an explicit commitment to a flexible and dynamic approach to the application of standards of business conduct.

Research limitations/implications

An examination of the actual behaviour of a corporation's operations was beyond the scope of the present research, but such a study has potential for future research. This would open up the wider question of how corporations can minimise the gap between corporate intentions and actual outcomes in business operations across national and cultural boundaries.

Practical implications

These diverse national and cultural contexts that world wide corporations encounter must be taken into consideration in the content of their standards of business conduct.


The authors emphasise the concern of recognising that the contexts surrounding standards of business conduct are dynamic. Corporate codes of ethics should be regarded as dynamic artefacts. A framework of application is proposed.



Svensson, G. and Wood, G. (2008), "International standards of business conduct: framework and illustration", European Business Review, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 260-274.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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