Corporate Ethics and Compliance Programs: A Report, Analysis and Critique


This research reports on the current state of ethics and compliance programs among business organizations in the United States. Members of the Ethics and Compliance Officers Association (ECOA), the premier professional association for managers working in this field, were asked to provide in-depth responses to a series of questions covering various elements of their corporate ethics and compliance programs. The findings from this analysis indicate that ethics and compliance programs have multiple components that are implemented developmentally, are influenced by regulatory and legal efforts and have evolved into more sophisticated approaches that include risk assessment and employee performance appraisal. However, these programs remain vulnerable to sufficient resource allocation by the organization to be fully effective.

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The authors thank Dr. Virginia Gerde of Duquesne University for her contribution in developing the questionnaire, Tushar Koshaley of Duquesne University for his assistance in preparing the data for analysis, Ethics and Compliance Officer Association’s Chief Operating Officer, Timothy Mazur, for his help in contacting our survey participants and Jack Radke for his invaluable practical review of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to James Weber.

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Weber, J., Wasieleski, D.M. Corporate Ethics and Compliance Programs: A Report, Analysis and Critique. J Bus Ethics 112, 609–626 (2013).

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  • Compliance
  • Ethics programs
  • Regulation