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Article
Publication date: 12 July 2013

Ahmad Sharbatoghlie, Mohsen Mosleh and Taha Shokatian

The purpose of this paper is to explore emerging trends in the content of codes of ethics of US Fortune 100 and Global 100 corporate web sites through a longitudinal study.

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2046

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore emerging trends in the content of codes of ethics of US Fortune 100 and Global 100 corporate web sites through a longitudinal study.

Design/methodology/approach

The web sites of the 200 companies were surfed and the relevant documents of the codes of ethics were extracted to separate text files. The computer files were then mined using the customized developed software and each ethical keyword was counted. The number of filed codes of ethics was 95 for both the 100 US‐based and the 100 Global‐based companies.

Findings

In addition to the content analysis of the ethic codes of the studied groups and finding high‐frequency ethical keywords, the results of this study indicate a convergence of the contents. Moreover, the results also show that the ethical codes are now more readily available on corporations’ web sites; that is a sign of higher level of disclosure of ethical codes compared to that in 2006. Finally, this research proposes some hypotheses to explain the changes from 2006 to 2009.

Practical implications

Many smaller corporations and start‐up companies can benefit from the results of this study by comparing their codes of ethics with those of the major US and global companies, using key ethical phrases that are discussed here. Moreover, US companies wanting to establish new subsidiaries in other countries can also take advantage of the results of this study. They can find out what are the common dissimilarities between American corporates and other international firms, from ethical point of view, when they want to reach a uniform code of ethics.

Social implications

Longitudinal study of the content of codes of ethics can help in encouraging firms to give consideration to ethical issues. This research is the first attempt to study the ethical standards adopted by the major US and global corporations, before and after the global financial crisis.

Originality/value

This study analyses the content of codes of ethics of the world's top firms and compares Fortune 500 and global 500 companies, considering the frequency of ethical keywords on their codes. It also compares the similarities and differences and indicates whether the content is divergent or convergent. The study also shows how the disclosure of codes of ethics has changed in the time‐span of research.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 32 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 3 May 2018

George Joseph and Anwar Hashmi

The chapter first draws concepts underlying legitimacy theory (Suchman, 1995) to provide a basis to understand alternative approaches to the development of ethical

Abstract

The chapter first draws concepts underlying legitimacy theory (Suchman, 1995) to provide a basis to understand alternative approaches to the development of ethical cultures in global organization. The chapter then illustrates the institutionalization of Codes of Ethics through a “management” approach drawing from Simon’s Levers of Control as a framework to contextualize experiences of a large global conglomerate. The chapter adopts the case approach, applying the case of the Tata Group to highlight the integration of external institutions into the institutionalization process. The management of business ethics (MBE) can provide a basis to institutionalize ethics in global firms to create an internal culture consistent with ethical goals of the corporations that may also be different from the external environment. The MBE includes the application of managerial techniques and information technology to institutionalize ethics in organizational culture. Management Accountants can have a significant role in supporting this endeavor, given their expertise in measurement and control. The code is only one aspect through which firms develop their identity. Information on the case was unevenly distributed. For example, there was voluminous information on the code and its implementation. Therefore, some subjectivity was necessary in selecting relevant items. The chapter, to my knowledge, provides unique insights into the theoretical and practical aspects of institutionalizing ethics in corporate cultures using Codes of Ethics.

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Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-973-9

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 31 March 2021

Lilach Litor

This paper explores different approaches to regulating corporate social responsibility (CSR) patterns of adopting codes of conduct, and discusses the approach that courts…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores different approaches to regulating corporate social responsibility (CSR) patterns of adopting codes of conduct, and discusses the approach that courts should embrace.

Design/methodology/approach

Case studies from various legal systems will be examined. The paper presents new typology relating to different patterns of the Corporate Social Performance (CSP) model, based on aspects of the CSR pyramid, namely, legislative CSR and ethical CSR. Legislative CSR includes adoption of thin codes which reflect compliance within current legal standards of the criminal code, while ethical CSR includes codes reflecting ethical norms and corporate social citizenship beyond mere compliance. The paper also includes the interplay of different patterns of CSR and three approaches to regulation regarding these patterns.

Findings

Both the Israeli negative CSR regulatory approach and the American legislative CSR regulatory approach present difficulties.

Originality/value

The paper introduces a theory for regulating CSR within criminal law, drawing on the pyramid of CSR. It presents an original discussion of distinct approaches to regulation of corporate liability, while further developing the institutional theory of CSR and the interplay of regulation and CSR. The paper suggests a novel solution regarding the regulation and acceptance of CSR: the granting of protection from criminal liability to corporations who adopt CSR.

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Christabel M.F. Ho and Olugbenga Timo Oladinrin

Setting measurable criteria for implementing ethical codes is a pivotal issue in construction organizations. This paper aims to present an approach for evaluating ethical

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1127

Abstract

Purpose

Setting measurable criteria for implementing ethical codes is a pivotal issue in construction organizations. This paper aims to present an approach for evaluating ethical codes implementation within an organization based on 30 indicators for effective implementation of codes of ethics, with the objective of enhancing employees’ ethical behaviour within the organization.

Design/methodology/approach

This study builds on a theoretical model that was developed using existing classification in the literature, including six processes of ethical codes implementation (process of: identification and removal of barriers, coding, internalization, enacting values, monitoring and accountability). The model was validated by applying partial least square structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) estimation approach on questionnaire survey data which were collected from construction practitioners in Hong Kong. Fuzzy synthetic evaluation (FSE) analysis was adopted to assess the level of ethical code implementation.

Findings

The results of the PLS-SEM indicate a good model fit, and the model has a substantial predictive power and satisfactory model representation. Thus, the model is suitable for measuring or evaluating codes of ethics implementation within organization. The process of “enacting value” has the greatest influence on “ethical code implementation”. The results of FSE indicate that the overall level of implementation of ethical codes is high, but there are rooms for further improvement.

Research limitations/implications

The response to the self-assessment questionnaire used for measuring the extent of implementation is relatively low, but it was adequate for statistical analyses considering the fact that it represents the second stage of data collection in a longitudinal manner, and only the respondents who participated in the initial questionnaire survey were asked to participate. The essence of doing this is to test the model for the purpose of self-evaluation of construction organizations regarding codes implementation. Thus, the outcomes are not representative enough for the entire construction organizations in Hong Kong. However, the model was tested to demonstrate how to reflect the strengths and weaknesses of construction companies in Hong Kong with respects to ethical code implementation to identify areas requiring improvement.

Practical implications

Facilities managers can benefit from the findings of this study by applying the model to assess ethical codes implementation within the organization to enhance ethical behaviour.

Originality/value

The main contribution of this study is the generation of a framework for measuring the extent of implementation of ethical codes within construction organizations. The contribution from this study can add significant value to facilities management discipline as well, being a business-oriented sector. As ethical behaviour plays an important role in delivering various facilities. The approach used in this study is useful for facilities managers in the process of implementing codes of ethics.

Details

Facilities, vol. 34 no. 13/14
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article
Publication date: 27 April 2012

Francisco Javier Rondán‐Cataluña, Antonio Navarro‐García, Juan Gámez‐González and Carlos J. Rodríguez‐Rad

The objective of this paper is to improve the knowledge about ethical content of franchising associations at a worldwide level.

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679

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this paper is to improve the knowledge about ethical content of franchising associations at a worldwide level.

Design/methodology/approach

To do this, the authors compared the content of 46 deontological codes of franchising associations from five continents to the standards established in the so‐called C‐40 or model of franchising deontological codes.

Findings

Results show that, in general, ethical content included in deontological codes of franchising associations is not very large, requiring progress in improving its structure and content. In any case, according to the contents of their deontological codes, there are two groups of franchising associations worldwide. On the one hand, those taking the archetype of the European Franchise Federation code (30 associations), which show a greater number of ethical issues and have a better structured code than the other group that do not follow the European code (16 associations).

Originality/value

Although currently the majority of franchisees and franchisors associations' have or are in the process of developing a deontological code, there is little knowledge about “how a good code should be”, “what is the content it must include to perform properly” and if “existing codes of franchise associations are appropriated”. The answer to these questions, given the existing gap in the literature, is the value of this work.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 50 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Mike Chen-ho Chao, Fuan Li and Haiyang Chen

Motivated by the heated discussion with regard to the Chinese milk powder incident, this paper aims to explore the determinants of Chinese managers’ moral judgment. Are…

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1060

Abstract

Purpose

Motivated by the heated discussion with regard to the Chinese milk powder incident, this paper aims to explore the determinants of Chinese managers’ moral judgment. Are Chinese professional managers’ moral judgments on an ethical dilemma influenced by their commitment to the norms and values recognized by a prestigious professional association outside of China? Do Chinese managers’ moral development and level of relativism impact their ethical decisions?

Design/methodology/approach

A structured survey was conducted, generating 544 valid responses from Chinese managers.

Findings

The results showed that moral maturity and relativism, independently and together, were significantly related to Chinese managers’ moral judgment on a hypothetical business dilemma, though no significant effect was found for their commitment to ethics codes.

Originality/value

The findings confirm the important role of moral development and relativism in Chinese mangers’ moral judgment and suggest the need for further research on the impact of professional ethics codes.

Details

Nankai Business Review International, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8749

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-367-9

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Göran Svensson, Greg Wood and Michael Callaghan

The purpose of the study is to examine and describe the use of codes of ethics in the top 100 companies operating in the Swedish corporate sector. This paper reports on

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3825

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to examine and describe the use of codes of ethics in the top 100 companies operating in the Swedish corporate sector. This paper reports on the responses of those companies that possessed a code of ethics.

Design/methodology/approach

A three‐stage research procedure was used. First, a questionnaire was sent to the public relations managers of the top 100 companies operating in the Swedish corporate sector (based on revenue). Companies were asked to answer up to 29 questions and to supply a copy of their code of ethics. The second stage involved content analysis of the codes of ethics supplied by survey respondents. The third stage involved a more detailed follow‐up of a smaller group of firms that appeared to be close to best practice. Findings for Stage 1 of the research are reported in this paper. The areas of questioning were: how common are codes of ethics? Who was involved in the development of these codes? What are the reasons for the codes? How are they implemented? Do companies inform internal and external publics of the codes? What are the prescribed benefits of the codes?

Findings

It would appear that business ethics has only recently become a topic of interest in corporate Sweden and that many companies are in the early stages of code development and assimilation into company policies. The incidence of codes in the population (of 100) suggested by this survey (56 per cent) is lower than a US study finding (in 1995) that over 84 per cent of comparable US companies had codes of ethics. It would appear that Sweden today lags behind the US situation of 1995. When one investigates the special measures to support the inculcation of ethical values at the organizational level, there appears to be some shortfall. The supporting measures of ethics committees, ethics training committees, ethics training, ombudsman, an ethical audit and procedures to protect whistleblowers appear to be under‐utilized in companies that possess codes. This lack of utilization tends to suggest that companies in Sweden, as yet, either have not developed a high commitment to supporting business ethics in their corporations, or they may have developed other methods to support their codes in their organizations that they view are as beneficial as the traditional methods practised in other western industrial democracies.

Research limitations/implications

This research was limited to internal ethical expectations. The commitment to business ethics is usually explored in terms of internal ethical expectations, but the simultaneous consideration of the external ethical expectations in the marketplace (e.g. among suppliers and customers or other publics) is desirable. A dyadic approach considering a company's internal ethical expectations and the external ethical expectations of a company's business activities may give a more balanced and in‐depth approach.

Practical implications

Evidence is now available to show that codes of ethics are well developed in many of Sweden's largest corporations: organizations that, from their responses, appear to see a diverse range of benefits in developing the area of business ethics. Companies are beginning to implement not only a code of ethics, but other complementary initiatives that reinforce the need for the culture of the organization to be ethical. Codes of ethics are perceived by organizations to have assisted them in their dealings in the marketplace and many companies use their ethical values to underpin their strategic planning process. It appears that many companies now see the formalisation of business ethics as an integral part of their commercial practices.

Originality/value

This study is the first one of its kind on codes of ethics in corporate Sweden. It will enable all sectors of Swedish business to benchmark their efforts against the major companies in the Swedish corporate sector.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 6 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2004

Göran Svensson, Greg Wood and Michael Callaghan

This article examines the results of a study conducted of the top 100 public sector units in Sweden. These units are comprised of entities of government, municipalities…

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2363

Abstract

This article examines the results of a study conducted of the top 100 public sector units in Sweden. These units are comprised of entities of government, municipalities, and county councils. The aim of the study was to examine and describe the commitment to codes of ethics in these Swedish public sector units. This article reports on the responses of those public sector units that possessed a code of ethics. The construct of commitment was measured by a consideration of the inputs, objectives and outputs of the code across six areas. The commitment to codes of ethics has an interest for those involved in the public sector in Sweden and society in general. Most public sector units are in the early stages of development and assimilation into overall ethics policies in code artefacts. On a specific level there are customized codes of ethics that are not always documented in a generic artefact. Theoretical and managerial implications are provided. Furthermore, suggestions for further research are proposed.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2009

Gael M. Mcdonald

Corporate codes of conduct originated around 1900 in the USA gaining further momentum in the 1950s in relation to anti‐trust legislation. Subsequently, the adoption of…

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6350

Abstract

Purpose

Corporate codes of conduct originated around 1900 in the USA gaining further momentum in the 1950s in relation to anti‐trust legislation. Subsequently, the adoption of codes of ethics has spread throughout the world and they now feature extensively in many organisations. The literature relating to codes of ethics, therefore, spans many decades and is undoubtedly comprehensive. The purpose of the paper is to provide an appropriate anthology of codes of ethics.

Design/methodology/approach

A descriptive, historical, anthological approach has been taken.

Findings

This paper examines the motivations for the adoption of codes of ethics, which naturally also includes international codes, their frequency of use and content. Codes are also not without critique and it is appropriate to highlight the criticisms of codes, to provide an assessment of their potential effectiveness, the issues surrounding implementation and enforcement and the relationship to organisational culture and leadership.

Research limitations/implications

As noted, the literature on codes of conduct is extensive and while effort has been made to capture the key themes the review is not necessarily exhaustive.

Originality/value

The literature is characterised by the means of institutionalising ethics in organisations and the paper concludes with a summative reflection on the key dimensions that appear to be paramount for improving the efficacy of codes of conduct.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

Keywords

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