This paper considers whether professional codes of ethics are enforceable, legitimate, and just. In analyzing codes of ethics in this way, one must consider whether they exist to benefit members of the profession, or society as a whole. The analysis shifts dramatically based on this question, as codes of ethics are typically created by members of the profession, not by representatives of the larger population, and where they are enforced, they are only enforced among members of the profession. However, professional codes of ethics have an impact on those outside the profession, or the larger society outside the smaller community that created them.
McGraw, D.K. (2004), "A social contract theory critique of professional codes of ethics", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 2 No. 4, pp. 235-243. https://doi.org/10.1108/14779960480000256
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited