Ethical codes of conduct and organizational context: A study of the relationship between codes of conduct, employee behavior and organizational values

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195 Scopus citations

Abstract

Codes of ethics are being increasingly adopted in organizations worldwide, yet their effects on employee perceptions and behavior have not been thoroughly addressed. This study used a sample of 613 management accountants drawn from the United States to study the relationship between corporate and professional codes of ethics and employee attitudes and behaviors. The presence of corporate codes of ethics was associated with less perceived wrongdoing in organizations, but not with an increased propensity to report observed unethical behavior. Further, organizations that adopted formal codes of ethics exhibited value orientations that went beyond financial performance to include responsibility to the commonweal. In contrast to corporate codes of ethics, professional codes of ethical conduct had no influence on perceived wrongdoing in organization nor these codes affect the propensity to report observed unethical activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-195
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Law

Keywords

  • Codes of ethics
  • Organizational values
  • Wrongdoing

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