Ethos or Code?

  • Barbara Goodwin
Part of the Issues in Business Ethics book series (IBET, volume 16)


A code of conduct is now thought to be an integral part of the ethical company or organisation. Such codes can improve the conduct of managers and employees and help to prevent harm to customers and others. Whereas legal regulation is sometimes effective only after the event, ethical codes act prospectively. Mission Statements and vision statements often contain pieties or truisms: for example, my local building supplies company has a Mission Statement which declares that its mission is to supply building materials to the building trade. But codes of conduct make more or less detailed promises of how the company or organisation and its employees will behave towards customers, suppliers and other stakeholders; they also inform staff of the conduct expected from them. Like Janus, these codes face outwards and inwards simultaneously.


Mission Statement Ethical Code Water Company Professional Code Accountancy Firm 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Goodwin
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of East AngliaNorwichUK
  2. 2.Henley Management CollegeUK

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