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Developing Codes of Ethics

Developing Codes of Ethics

According to Wallace, “A credo generally describes the highest values to which the company aspires to operate. It contains the `thou shalts.’ A code of ethics specifies the ethical rules of operation. It’s the `thou shalt nots.” In the latter 1980s, The Conference Board, a leading business membership organization, found that 76% of corporations surveyed had codes of ethics.

Some business ethicists disagree that codes have any value. Usually they explain that too much focus is put on the codes themselves, and that codes themselves are not influential in managing ethics in the workplace. Many ethicists note that it’s the developing and continuing dialogue around the code’s values that is most important.