Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 65-78

First online:

Measuring the Implementation of Codes of Conduct. An Assessment Method Based on a Process Approach of the Responsible Organisation

  • André NijhofAffiliated withTwente University
  • , Stephan CludtsAffiliated withCatholic University of Leuven
  • , Olaf FisscherAffiliated withTwente University
  • , Albertus LaanAffiliated withTwente University

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More and more organisations formulate a code of conduct in order to stimulate responsible behaviour among their members. Much time and energy is usually spent fixing the content of the code but many organisations get stuck in the challenge of implementing and maintaining the code. The code then turns into nothing else than the notorious "paper in the drawer", without achieving its aims. The challenge of implementation is to utilize the dynamics which have emerged from the formulation of the code. This will support a continuous process of reflection on the central values and standards contained in the code. This paper presents an assessment method, based on the EFQM model, which intends to support this implementation process.

assessment method business ethics code of conduct continuous improvement learning organisation quality management responsible organisation self-evaluation