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Cost of Creating and Corporate Culture

Compliance Policies Discourage Opportunities for Rule-Breaking

Rules are generally designed to discourage opportunities for employees to violate the law. In viewing Cressey’s theory on fraud, we can easily equate opportunity with compliance.

Without question, all companies should have a strong and effective compliance program. Ethics and compliance departments must work to combine rules with corporate systems and processes that reduce opportunities for employee misconduct.

Much of the focus for compliance relies on instruction and the corporation’s definition of appropriate procedures. Ethics and compliance teams should also be examining business systems, internal controls and approval procedures that are designed to prevent misconduct.

Some specific ways that corporations manage compliance is by setting limits on gift-giving and by tracking employee travel expenses, as well as other spending and reimbursement.

Ethics Policies Promote the Rationalization for Values and Integrity

Cressey’s Venn diagram equates the idea of rationalization to ethics. Corporations that teach their employees about ethical behavior find that most people can learn it and accept it.

Companies can train their employees to uphold their companies’ values by starting and continuing messages about ethics, integrity and doing the right thing. Training and messaging form a large part of promoting strong ethics and compliance. The other part of the process is to hold employees accountable when they aren’t behaving in ethical ways.