A New Generation of Corporate Codes of Ethics
- 1.8k Downloads
Globalization theories posit organizational convergence, suggesting that Codes of Ethics will become commonplace and include greater consideration of global issues. This study explores the degree to which the Codes of Ethics of 157 corporations on the Global 500 and/or Fortune 500 lists include the “third generation” of corporate social responsibility. Unlike first generation ethics, which focus on the legal context of corporate behavior, and second generation ethics, which locate responsibility to groups directly associated with the corporation, third generation ethics transcend both the profit motive and the immediate corporate environment. Third generation ethics are grounded in responsibilities to the larger interconnected environment. The results of the study suggest convergence, insofar as Codes of Ethics are becoming standard communication features of corporations across region and industrial sector but still manifest a primary concern with profits and those behaviors which are mandated by law. Only corporations headquartered in the European Union demonstrate a significant degree of global consciousness and reflexivity. However, there is some evidence that third generation ethics and thinking are becoming part of the corporate landscape. More then three quarters of the corporations made at least some reference to third generation ethics.
KeywordsCodes of Ethics globalization corporate social responsibility first generation rights second generation rights third generation rights
- Academics Studying Nike, Reebok, Adidas, and Athletic & Campus Apparel Industry: (n.d.), http://business.nmsu.edu/~dboje/nike.html. Accessed 15 Oct 2006.
- Altadis Group: 2004, ‹Code of Conduct’, http://www.altadis.com/en/index.php. Accessed 31 Oct 2006.
- Apodaca, C., Stohl, M., & Lopez, G.A.(1998). Moving norms to political reality: Institutionalizing human rights standards through the United Nations system. In C. F. Alger (Ed.), The Future of the United Nations System (pp. 185-221). New York: United Nations University Press.Google Scholar
- Areva: 2005, ‹Values Charter’, http://www.areva.com/servlet/librarytools/publishes/corporate2-en.html. Accessed 30 Oct 2006.
- Commission of the European Communities: 2006a, Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee. Implementing the partnership for growth and jobs: Making Europe a Pole of Excellence on Corporate Social Responsibility, Brussels, http://eurlex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:52006DC0136:EN:HTML. Acc- essed 17 Mar 2006.
- Commission of the European Communities: 2006b, Implementing the Partnership for Growth and Jobs. Retrieved October 15, 2006, from http://www.businessinsociety.eu/resources/3309
- Cressey, D.R., & Moore, C.A. (1983). Managerial values and corporate Code of Ethics. California Management Review, 25, 53–77.Google Scholar
- Edelman and Intelliseek.(2005). Talking from the Inside out: The Rise of Corporate Bloggers. Retrieved October 15, 2006, from http://www.edelman.com/image/insights/content/Edelman-Intelliseek%20Employee%20Blogging%20White%20Paper.pdf.
- Friedman, M.: 1970, ‹The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Its Profits’, The New York Times Magazine http://www.colorado.edu/studentgroups/libertarians/issues/friedman-soc-resp-business.html, Accessed 15 Oct 2006.
- Garfield, E.: 1989, ‹The English Language: The Lingua Franca of International Science’, The Scientist 3(10):12. http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/9334/. Accessed 15 Oct 2006.
- General Mills: 2003, ‹The Company of Champions’, http://www.generalmills.com/corporate/commitment/coc.pdf. Accessed 30 Oct 2006.
- Haas, E.B. (1964). Beyond the nation-state: Functionalism and international organization. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
- Kellogg Company: 2004, ‹Global Code of Ethics’, http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/K/64363456x0x21172/84745E27-A1E1-40AD-91D7-3D45C82DB806/KelloggsCodeOfEthics.pdf. Accessed 30 Oct 2006.
- Krasner, S. (Ed.). (1983). International regimes. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
- Lefebvre, M. and J. Singh: 1996, `A Comparison of the Contents and Foci of Canadian and American Corporate Codes of Ethics', International Journal of Management 13, 156–170Google Scholar
- Levi Strauss & Co.: 2006, ‹Global Sourcing and Operat- ing Guidelines’, http://levistrauss.com/Downloads/GSOG.pdf. Accessed 30 Oct 2006.
- Maignan, I. and D. Ralston, 2002, Corporate Social Responsibility in Europe and the U.S.: Insights from Businesses’ Self-Presentations. Journal of International Business Studies 33, 497–514. doi: 10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8491028
- Marks, S. (2004). The human right to development: Between rhetoric and reality. Harvard Human Rights Journal, 17, 137–168.Google Scholar
- May, S., Cheney, G., & Roper, J.(2006). The Debate over Corporate Social Responsibility. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Mitrany, D.: 1943/1966, A Working Peace System (Quadrangle Books, Chicago).Google Scholar
- Palmisano, S.J. (2006). The globally integrated enterprise. Foreign Affairs (Council on Foreign Relations), 85, 27–136.Google Scholar
- Pfizer: 2003, Summary of Pfizer Policies on Business Conduct. Retrieved October 30, 2006 from http://pfizer.com/pfizer/download/investors/corporate/business_conduct_policies_summary_2003.pdf.
- Rittberger, V. (ed.): 1993, Regime Theory and International Relations (Clarendon Press, Oxford, UK)Google Scholar
- Stohl, C., Stohl, M., & Townsley, N (2006). A new generation of global corporate social responsibility. In S. May, G. Cheney, & J. Roper (Eds.). The Debate over corporate social responsibility. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- United Nations Global Compact: 1999, Retrieved April 1, 2009, from http://www.unglobalcompact.org/AboutTheGC/TheTenPrinciples/index.html.
- United Nations Procurement Service: 2005, ‹The Global Compact’, http://www.un.org/Depts/ptd/global.htm. Accessed 1 Oct 2006.
- Weaver, G.: 1993, `Corporate Codes of Ethics: Purpose, Process and Content Issues', Business and Society 32, 44–58Google Scholar
- Wong, M., A. Leong and J. Yimprasert: 2006, ‹A Critical Guide to Corporate Codes of Conduct: Voices from the South Asia Monitor Resource Centre’, http://www.amrc.org.hk. Accessed 30 Oct 2006.