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 …show more content…
93). This strongly suggests that codes can guide or induce behaviours, seeing that codes are not designed for ‘bad’ people, but for those who endeavour to act ethically. The bad person will not often follow a code, while most people welcome ethical guidance in difficult or unclear situations. The average person is not seeking to do the wrong thing but often tempted, and sometimes confused, by what appears to be an honest path. Conversely no code, no matter how severely enforced will truly make bad people good (Gilman, 2005). However, ethical codes can have a demonstrable impact on the behaviour of bad people in organizations. Brass developed a “social network model of unethical behaviour.” One of the organization’s factors influencing behaviour includes codes of conduct, which “. . . can significantly decrease the prevalence of unethical behaviour in organizational contexts” (Brass et al, 1998, p. 15). When everyone clearly knows the ethical standards of an organization they are more likely to recognize wrongdoing; and do something about it. Wrongdoers are often cautious to commit an unethical act if they believe that everyone else around them knows it is wrong. And, finally corrupt individuals believe that they are more likely to get caught in environments that emphasize ethical behaviour (Gilman, 2005).
As these scholars have noted, behaviours can
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