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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1990

Bodo B. Schlegelmilch and Jane E. Houston

Business ethics is an area growing in importancefor business managers. Research in the USAsuggests that three‐quarters of major corporationshave specific codes of ethics

Abstract

Business ethics is an area growing in importance for business managers. Research in the USA suggests that three‐quarters of major corporations have specific codes of ethics, and in the UK some 40 per cent (and increasing) of major organisations have codes of ethics. This article explains a survey on corporate ethics undertaken in the UK and points to some reasons why firms choose to have codes of ethics, and why some firms do not. It concludes by suggesting that further research is needed, especially on the perceived benefits of a corporate code of ethics to organisations.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 28 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 27 February 2007

Göran Svensson and Greg Wood

Research has so far not approached the contents of corporate code of ethics from a strategic classification point of view. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to

Abstract

Purpose

Research has so far not approached the contents of corporate code of ethics from a strategic classification point of view. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to introduce and describe a framework of classification and empirical illustration to provide insights into the strategic approaches of corporate code of ethics content within and across contextual business environments.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper summarizes the content analysis of code prescription and the intensity of codification in the contents of 78 corporate codes of ethics in Australia.

Findings

The paper finds that, generally, the studied corporate codes of ethics in Australia are of standardized and replicated strategic approaches. In particular, customized and individualized strategic approaches are far from penetrating the ethos of corporate codes of ethics content.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited to Australian codes of ethics. Suggestions for further research are provided in terms of the search for best practice of customized and individualized corporate codes of ethics content across countries.

Practical implications

The framework contributes to an identification of four strategic approaches of corporate codes of ethics content, namely standardized, replicated, individualized and customized.

Originality/value

The principal contribution of this paper is a generic framework to identify strategic approaches of corporate codes of ethics content. The framework is derived from two generic dimensions: the context of application and the application of content. The timing of application is also a crucial generic dimension to the success or failure of codes of ethics content. Empirical illustrations based upon corporate codes of ethics in Australia's top companies underpin the topic explored.

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Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1996

Brian J. Farrell and Deirdre M. Cobbin

Focuses on the status of ethics in the larger and more significant Australian business corporations, using a survey instrument. The findings cover the origins of

Abstract

Focuses on the status of ethics in the larger and more significant Australian business corporations, using a survey instrument. The findings cover the origins of Australian enterprise codes, their implementation, the use of comprehensive strategies to support them, the sanctions imposed for their breach and the level of ongoing review and reporting. Uses these as criteria of “mainstreaming” ‐ the establishment of a company’s ethics function as a major and central focus of management activities, systems and procedures. Suggests that the extent of “proprietary interest” afforded addressees of codes is an element of code effectiveness and ethics mainstreaming.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Book part
Publication date: 5 August 2005

Marshall K. Pitman and Robin R. Radtke

Abstract

Details

Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-239-9

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Book part
Publication date: 15 December 2011

Guangyou Liu and Hong Ren

Purpose – The paper presents a content analysis of the 2009 Exposure Draft of Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants in China. It aims to investigate how equivalently…

Abstract

Purpose – The paper presents a content analysis of the 2009 Exposure Draft of Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants in China. It aims to investigate how equivalently the Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CICPA) adopts the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) Code with certain adjustments due to specific national circumstances. The investigation is intended to highlight the principles-based conceptual framework approach to settlement of ethical standards and regulation for professional conduct.

Design/Methodology/Approach – Regarding the codes of ethics for professional accountants as a genre of discourse text, this paper applies a content analysis method to the investigation of how the newly revised Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants in China adopts the IFAC Code of the same type. Both semantic content and presentation format are considered in the content analysis.

Findings – This study puts forward the argument that even though CICPA claims to have equivalently adopted the principles-based conceptual framework of the IFAC ethical codification, the rigid legalistic presentation format might, however, deviate from the newly revised codification of CICPA from ethical principles to regulatory rules. Our findings prove a practical and nation-specific form of combining direct import and legal enhancement at a time when the Chinese accounting profession is on its way to converging with the IFAC Code of Ethics.

Research limitations/Implications – One limitation of the current study is the lack of information about the motivation of CICPA in adopting the principles-based conceptual framework approach to ethical codification, besides the pragmatic needs of global economic and business environments. Also, the current study focuses its comparison on IFAC and CICPA, without limited consideration of differences in cultural traits.

Practical implications – Content analysis results and conclusions of the study might render pragmatic the implications for future adoptions of the IFAC Code by various national or regional professional bodies.

Originality/Value – This paper proposes a content analysis, in terms of semantic units and legislative formats in ethical codification documents, to identify the principles-based conceptual framework approach in the IFAC and CICPA codes of ethics.

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Book part
Publication date: 15 February 2017

Meta Gorup

A growing tendency towards interdisciplinary and international social science research has resulted in the need for codes of ethics and guidelines that cross disciplinary…

Abstract

A growing tendency towards interdisciplinary and international social science research has resulted in the need for codes of ethics and guidelines that cross disciplinary and national boundaries. One set of such documents was developed by the RESPECT project, which produced Europe-wide professional and ethical guidelines for social sciences. This chapter builds on a semi-structured interview conducted with the Principal Investigator of the RESPECT project. Her thoughts are contextualised within the broader discussions of ethics and professional standards codes and guidelines as identified by other scholars in the field. Drawing on an experience-based account, the chapter offers guidance in overcoming some of the common concerns when developing international, interdisciplinary ethics codes and guidelines for social science research.

Details

Finding Common Ground: Consensus in Research Ethics Across the Social Sciences
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-130-8

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Article
Publication date: 31 December 2002

Tim Marshall

Why should PR professionals bind themselves to a code of ethics when even membership of a professional industry association is not mandatory? Is it not easier to be ethics

Abstract

Why should PR professionals bind themselves to a code of ethics when even membership of a professional industry association is not mandatory? Is it not easier to be ethics‐free? The Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) is one of a number of public relations associations around the world that has recently reviewed its code of ethics. The new codes now focus on education first – to encourage understanding and minimise breaches – and discipline second. In a world rocked by corporate scandal, business leaders are rediscovering ethics and even British hip hop musicians are considering drafting an ethics code. The Spingate scandal showed that the ethics of all PR practitioners, be they members of professional PR institutes or not, are subject to public scrutiny and their actions and words may damage their own and the industry’s reputation. PR practitioners are seeking guidance on ethics, to have the confidence they are doing what is generally accepted to be right. Conformance with agreed and widely understood codes of ethics will improve PR practice and the industry’s reputation.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Article
Publication date: 19 September 2019

Giorgio Mion and Angelo Bonfanti

Higher education institutions draw up codes of ethics, but in several countries there are no standards to follow. Most universities have autonomy and can freely draw up…

Abstract

Purpose

Higher education institutions draw up codes of ethics, but in several countries there are no standards to follow. Most universities have autonomy and can freely draw up their codes of ethics in terms of structure and content. The purpose of this paper is to understand the main ethics issues that universities identify in their codes of ethics and what activities they implement to respond to these issues toward appropriate educational management of their institutions in ethical terms.

Design/methodology/approach

This study was performed through content analysis of codes of ethics of Italian public universities (64 codes), and may be considered a single in-depth case study. The main ethics issues and related activities were inductively codified in relation to the research purpose. The four constitutive aspects of business ethics (individual, managerial, organizational and societal ethics) proposed by Melé were chosen as the framework to investigate the main ethical needs and related activities implemented by universities to respond to these ethical issues.

Findings

This research has identified nine main ethical issues and related activities that contribute to guarantee the ethical compliance of universities under the four interrelated aspects different individual behaviors, managerial initiatives, organization strategies and responsibilities toward society. The analysis shows some relevant differences among Italian universities that have important implications in the ethical vision of academic communities and of managerial role in universities.

Practical implications

The research can help managers of higher education institutions to identify the main ethical issues to draw up codes of ethics and to formulate consistent development strategies that are able to improve the conditions of collaboration, work and productive participation in activities for all members of academic communities.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is one of the first studies that connect codes of ethics and higher education. This research brings to light the main ethical issues and related activities that universities can consider to orient their strategic choices toward the public interest as well as educational management improvement.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 33 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 18 January 2016

Olugbenga Timo Oladinrin and Christabel Man-Fong Ho

The existence of codes of ethics in most organizations does not seem to have reduced unethical behaviour especially in the construction organizations due to lack of

Abstract

Purpose

The existence of codes of ethics in most organizations does not seem to have reduced unethical behaviour especially in the construction organizations due to lack of effective ethics management such as embeddedness of ethical codes. The purpose of this paper is to bridge the current knowledge gap by highlighting the principal factors determining the embeddedness of codes of ethics in construction organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaires detailing 30 factors determining ethical code embeddedness were sent to professionals in construction organizations in Hong Kong. In total, 160 valid responses were analysed by mean score and exploratory factor analysis.

Findings

Based on the mean score, “protecting anyone who exposes alleged wrongdoing”, “managers acting as role models” and “giving code standards with explanation to new employees” are the three factors that ranked highest. From the results of factor analysis, six factors were extracted, including; process of code internalization, identification and remover of barriers, process of enacting value, process of accountability, process of coding and process of monitoring. These are processes that enable proper integration of codes of ethics within construction organization.

Research limitations/implications

While this study has provided useful information regarding ethical codes, the limitation is inherent in the population of the study in that, percentage representation of construction organizations in Hong Kong could not be presented. This was due to the sensitivity of ethics as perceived by construction practitioners. The authors, at the initial stage, sent invitation letters to several organizations inviting them to participate in the research but they all declined. Therefore, the data collection approach discussed earlier was adopted and the questionnaire was made strictly anonymous which made it difficult to classify organizations that are represented. Nevertheless, it is hoped that this paper will engineer a change in research direction and open up new discussion channels.

Originality/value

The results presented in this study provide sufficient evidence and useful pointers to clarify some misconceptions about factors determining code embeddedness. These findings help to clarify what the high-prioritized factors are, and could also be used as an assessment tool to evaluate performance of an organization regarding codes of ethics and thus help to identify areas requiring improvement.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 28 August 2009

Göran Svensson, Greg Wood and Michael Callaghan

The objective of this paper is to develop and describe a construct of the “ethos of the codes of ethics” (i.e. an ECE construct) in the private and public sectors of Sweden.

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this paper is to develop and describe a construct of the “ethos of the codes of ethics” (i.e. an ECE construct) in the private and public sectors of Sweden.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes a cross‐sector approach to codes of ethics amongst the top private sector companies and the top public sector organisations. The paper then examines the measures put in place by the dual sample in order to describe the ethos of their codes of ethics.

Findings

The multivariate techniques used in the statistical analysis indicated that the ECE‐construct consists of five dimensions: ethical bodies, ethical tools, ethical support procedures, internal ethics usage, and external ethics usage.

Research limitations/implications

It should be noted that the ECE construct has been derived from large companies and organisations in private and public Sweden, which may indicate less applicability to smaller operations. Another limitation may be the validity and reliability across other cultural samples. The dual sample contains a variety of different types of operations, but it may not be transferable to other countries.

Practical implications

The outcome is based on data from private companies and public organisations that indicated they had corporate codes of ethics. Therefore, a suggestion for further research is to examine the ECE construct in other countries/cultures that differ from the ones in this research effort performed in the private and public sectors of Sweden.

Originality/value

The ECE construct introduced makes a contribution to theory and practice in the field as it is based upon a dual sample. It makes a contribution to theory as it outlines a construct for the benefit of other researchers working in both the private and the public sectors. The authors also believe that it may be of managerial interest as it provides a grounded framework of areas to be considered in the implementation of the codes of ethics in both private companies and public organisations.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 22 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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