Corporate code of conduct LO23985

From: Swan, Steve R. SETA CONTR (
Date: 02/16/00

Replying to LO23973 --

"Codes of conduct."

Any means of populating, announcing if you will, a code of conduct in any
organization is indeed a sham if the code is not supported and lived by
those that are visible. As far as any code of conduct being a "mockery and
does not have any influence in organizational ethical behaviour" may a bit
of an overstatement, but I get your drift. Today, codes of conduct are
wrapped in business entities called mission, vision, goals, objective and
in many cases core "values", "beliefs", "competencies" and so forth. There
is no question that many organizations (businesses to be specific) that
have espoused values, behaviors and the like yet anecdotal evidence (and
empirical if examined I suspect)would indicate that these values,
behaviors and the like are violated on a daily basis. Part of the problem
may be that businesses can not make the distinction between business
behavior and interpersonal behavior. My hypothesis is that when mission
driven there are behaviors and actions that are tolerable (but not illegal
or immoral) that would not be tolerable on an interpersonal level. But
people make up the information connections between businesses. How can
there be a difference? A Western Civilization "phrase" comes to mind:
"Don't take this personally, but ..." which is followed by some bad news
or an evaluation of a persons behavior or performance. There is a
difference, but the two areas of behavior are linked.

To help get an overview of many aspects of business "philosophies" and the
like, see:

Insights from Business Strategy and Management "Big Ideas" of the Past Three
Decades, Mahoney, R.


"Swan, Steve R. SETA CONTR" <>

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