Corporate codes of ethics: necessary but not sufficient

Webley, Simon and Werner, Andrea ORCID logoORCID: (2008) Corporate codes of ethics: necessary but not sufficient. Business Ethics: A European Review, 17 (4) . pp. 593-603. ISSN 0962-8770 [Article]


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.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Business School > International Management and Innovation
A. > Business School > International Management and Innovation > Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics group
Item ID: 963
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Depositing User: Repository team
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2009 15:15
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 12:43

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