Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: Deborah C Poff, Alex C. Michalos

Business Code of Ethics

  • Muel KapteinEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-23514-1_64-1

Synonyms

Definition

A business code of ethics (BCE) is a distinct and formal document containing a set of prescriptions on a range of issues, which has been developed by and for a company for the purpose of guiding its employees’ behavior toward each other, the company, external stakeholders, and/or society in general. A BCE is a device for self-regulation developed for and by a particular company. A BCE is one of the layers in the whole spectrum of codes for businesses that consists, among others, of professional, industry, national and international codes.

Adoption

In the business ethics literature, a BCE is the most frequently cited instrument for managing the ethics of business. Nowadays, many companies have a BCE. For example, 76% of the Fortune Global 200 companies have a BCE...

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References

  1. Cooper N (1990) Developing a code of business ethics. Institute of Business Ethics, LondonGoogle Scholar
  2. Kaptein M (2011) Toward effective codes: testing the relationship with unethical behavior. J Bus Ethics 99:233–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Kaptein M, Schwartz MS (2008) The effectiveness of business codes: a critical examination of existing studies and the development of an integrated research model. J Bus Ethics 77:111–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. KPMG (2014) The business codes of the fortune global 200: what the largest companies in the world say and do. KPMG, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar

Further Reading

  1. Kaptein M, Wempe J (1998) Twelve Gordian knots when developing an organizational code of ethics. J Bus Ethics 17:853–869CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Kaptein M (2004) Business codes of multinational firms: what do they say? J Bus Ethics 50:13–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Kaptein M (2008) The living code. Embedding ethics into the corporate DNA. Greenleaf, SheffieldGoogle Scholar
  4. Leipziger D (2017) The corporate responsibility code book. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  5. Schwartz MS (2005) Universal moral values for corporate codes of ethics. J Bus Ethics 59:27–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Business Ethics and Integrity ManagementRotterdam School of Management, Erasmus UniversityRotterdamThe Netherlands

Section editors and affiliations

  • Muel Kaptein
    • 1
  1. 1.Business Ethics and Integrity ManagementRSM Erasmus UniversityRotterdamNetherlands