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Codes of Ethics are the Most Effective Method of Instilling Ethical Behavior Within an Organization

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Documentations that state significant philosophical principles and make clear the values depicted within an organisation are known as ethical codes. For these codes to be considered effective they are required to be able to define the responsibilities of an organisation to stakeholders, the conduct expected of employees (Kaptein & Wempe, 2002) and articulate the ethical parameters of the organization as to what is acceptable and what is not (Stevens, 1994). While behaviour of course, refers to the ethical behaviour of individuals in organizations. Employee behaviours are purposely designed to be affected by codes, regardless of the extent of the script. As much as codes are used to enhance social responsibility and explain the norms and values of the organisation, it would be equally important to consider how codes can influence behaviour. Numerous systems and methods in conjunction with the embedment of ethical codes will be considered to exhibit the effects of ethical behaviour; these include analysing the link between control mechanisms and correlating them to the primary components of a management system. As well as portraying how an ethical culture and successful communication stream enhances ethical behaviour amongst employees. In effect these methods are used as an overall message, created by the corporation in an attempt to instil behaviour and effect change through explicit statements of acceptable behaviour (Stevens, 1994).

Codes of ethics are written to guide behaviour, and so any analysis of the impact of a code must include how well it affects behaviour. Contemporary social psychological research such as those done by Ferrell and Gresham as part of their contingency model suggest that, “Ethics related corporate ...


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.... C. and W. D. Richardson: 1994, 'Ethical Decision Making: A Review of the Empirical Litera ture', Jo urnal of Business Ethics 13, 203-221.
11. Bowden, P & Smythe, B. (2008). Making codes of ethics meaningful and effective. Keeping Good Companies. 1 (1), 584-588.
12. Stevens, B. (2008). Corporate Ethical Codes: Effective Instruments For Influencing Behavior? . Journal of Business Ethics. 78 (4), 601-609.
13. Trevino, L. K., G. R. Weaver, D. Gibson and B. L Toeffler: 1999, 'Managing Ethics and Legal Compli ance: What Works and What Hurts', California Management Review 41 (2), 131-151.
14. Schwartz, M.: 2004, 'Effective Corporate Codes of Ethics: Perceptions of Code Users', Journal of Business Ethics 55, 323-343.
15. IFAC. (2007). Defining and Developing an Effective Code of Conduct for Organizations . Professional Accountants in Business Committee. 1 (3), 8-21.


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