Journal of Business Ethics 50 (1):13-31 (2004)

Abstract
Business codes are an oft-cited management instrument. But how common are codes among multinationals? And what is their content? In an unprecedented study, the codes of the largest corporations in the world have been collected and thoroughly analyzed. This paper presents the results of that study. Of the two hundred largest companies in the world, 52.5% have a code. More than half of these codes describe company responsibilities regarding quality of products and services (67%), adherence to local laws and regulations (57%) and the protection of the natural environment (56%). Many codes make reference to principles governing stakeholder relations (e.g. transparency (55%), honesty (50%) and fairness (45%)), corporate core values (e.g. teamwork (43%)), appropriate conduct among employees (e.g. discrimination (44%) and intimidation (43%)) and treatment of company property by employees (e.g. conflict of interests (52%), corruption (46%) and fraud (45%)). Monitoring compliance with the code is addressed in 52% of the codes. Based on this content study, three types of codes are distinguished: the stakeholder statute (72%), the values statement (49%) and the code of conduct (46%). The results of this inquiry present a benchmark for the evaluation and development of both individual and international business codes.
Keywords Philosophy   Ethics   Economic Growth   Management
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1023/B:BUSI.0000021051.53460.da
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,079
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

A Code of Ethics for Corporate Code of Ethics.Mark S. Schwartz - 2002 - Journal of Business Ethics 41 (1-2):27 - 43.
Codes of Ethics.George C. S. Benson - 1989 - Journal of Business Ethics 8 (5):305 - 319.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Universal Moral Values for Corporate Codes of Ethics.Mark S. Schwartz - 2005 - Journal of Business Ethics 59 (1-2):27-44.

View all 127 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
102 ( #114,711 of 2,506,012 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #416,828 of 2,506,012 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes