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Corporate ethics statements: Current status and future prospects

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This paper reports on a study of large U.S. based corporations concerning the status of formal ethics statements. Almost all responding firms (91%) have promulgated a formal code of ethics while one-half have published values statements and about one-third have a corporate credo. Analysis of these statements concentrated on to whom they are communicated; whether codes of ethics contain information pertinent to the industry, include sanctions for violations and provide specific guidance regarding gifts. Conclusions and implications for managers and researchers are drawn.

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Patrick E. Murphy is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Marketing at the University of Notre Dame. He is coauthor (with G. R. Laczniak) ofEthical Marketing Decisions: The Higher Road, Allyn & Bacon, 1993. His research interests focus on ethical and public policy issues facing marketing and business. He serves on the editorial review boards of several marketing and ethics journals.

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Murphy, P.E. Corporate ethics statements: Current status and future prospects. J Bus Ethics 14, 727–740 (1995).

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