The institutional affiliation
A code of ethics that may be also called an ethical code or a code of conduct is an inherent element of the company culture. The membership in the company commits members to abide by the standards of the code of ethics and the rules and procedures used to follow them. Thus, a well-structured and planned ethical code establishes trust and honesty, guides a decision-making process and advises employees’ commitment to the code.
It might not be argued that every code of ethics is unique and reflects the spirit, business style and values of the company. Some codes are short comprising only general rules, while the other ones are large manuals covering a variety of situations. For instance, the Kraft Foods Code of Ethics contains only 10 short rules which are focused mainly on creating safe products, maintaining fair business, being honest with government and keeping business loyalty (Small Business - Chron.com, 2016). It is also important to note that the creation of a dynamic set of ethical standards for the work-related conduct requires a personal dedication and lifelong effort to act ethically. Moreover, the Kraft Foods managers organized an online training in order to make it easier for their colleagues to comprehend the ethical standards expected from the business. Thus, such in-depth work in the field of ethics represents great solicitude and concern to the future of business.
Another example of the ethical code is also worth to be given. Verizon, an American telecommunications company, has provided the information indicating that its core values were integrity, accountability, performance excellence and respect in its Code of Conduct (Verizon.com, 2016). Thus, these four main aspects can be found in the 40-page document of the rules to be followed in various situations. The specific guidelines cover setups such as workplace violence, alcohol use, harassment and avoidance of conflicts of interests. It can be particularly applied to the unique features of the company, as well as it deals with certain rules that are inherent for Verizon.
In fact, a code of ethics is connected with legal standards, but it goes beyond them. The ethical code is mainly developed for a group of professionals in order to practice a proper ethical conduct within the organization. Thus, the ethical behavior comes from an individual’s morality and impulse of keeping self-respect. Being based on ethics, laws are created and approved by the government aiming at the society regulation (Difference Between, 2011). Besides, the legal standards are more normative than the ethical ones and have more severe penalty for failure. In addition, the code of ethics is partly based on laws and never transgresses them. If the code of ethics sets up a higher standard of conduct than required by the law, the professionals might meet the higher ethical standard. In this way, the key point is that ethics and laws are essential for ensuring stability and guidelines for people and society as the whole one.
In other words, ethics is a set of guidelines for deciding correct conduct. However, there is morality which is a universal standard within a society at a certain point (Endusmilitarism.org, 2016). The individual’s morality is a personal attachment to the commonly accepted standards of behavior held within a society. The big difference between ethics and morality is that the last one changes frequently, while the first one changes slightly through the ages. Nevertheless, ethical principles are more fundamental and stable. Besides, the position of the morals in the code of ethics remains essential, because it considers the human’s modern values and principles.
Difference Between. (2011). Difference Between Law and Ethics. Retrieved 11 February 2016, from http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/politics/difference-between-law-and-ethics/
Endusmilitarism.org. (2016). Ethics and Morality. Retrieved 11 February 2016, from http://www.endusmilitarism.org/ethicsandmorality.html
Small Business - Chron.com. (2016). Examples of a Code of Ethics for Business. Retrieved 11 February 2016, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/examples-code-ethics-business-4885.html
Verizon.com. (2016). Your Code of Conduct. Retrieved 12 February 2016, from http://www.verizon.com/about/sites/default/files/Verizon-Code-of-Conduct.pdf