Journal of Business Ethics 134 (3):397-412 (2016)

Most scholarly interest in codes of ethics or conduct has focused on traditional companies. Little is known about the codes of social enterprises or hybrid organizations such as microfinance institutions. Our paper provides a comparative case study of the codes of a Mexican microfinance network and seven MFIs. Using the corporate integrity model, we analyze the content of MFIs’ codes compared to those of traditional organizations. We then examine to what extent some specific features of MFIs such as their mission, target group, and applied credit methodologies, are factors that determine the content of their code. We find that MFIs’ codes, like those of traditional companies, include traditional stakeholder principles. Nevertheless, they put greater emphasis on ‘socially-oriented’ principles or on terms such as ‘people’ and ‘common good’. MFIs’ codes differ with respect to the items they include and exclude and the size of the covered sections. We also find that these codes attempt to address prevailing concerns in microfinance but rarely tackle two critical debates, namely levels of interest rates and of profitability. We finally argue that it is difficult to move toward a global code, owing to regional disparities and the variety of organizational models and missions.
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-014-2434-y
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References found in this work BETA

Business codes of multinational firms: What do they say?Muel Kaptein - 2004 - Journal of Business Ethics 50 (1):13-31.

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The Political Economy of Human Rights Organizations’ Codes of Ethics.Saif AlZahir, Han Donker & John Nofsinger - 2018 - Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society 16 (1):61-74.

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