Corporate code of conduct LO24097

Date: 03/01/00

Replying to LO24083 --

On 28 Feb 00, at 11:25, AM de Lange wrote:

> I think that there is some misunderstanding here which may cause serious
> confusion. I wrote that humane conduct can be codified. But I also wrote
> that such codes are useless when not matched by a prior knowledge within
> people to recognise the sense of such codes.

That isn't born out by some psychology and the practices of all the
societies I know of from biblical times to the present. It's a mistake to
believe that human behavior is driven by the "sense of such codes". Many
people, in fact most people comply with codes of conduct, not because they
see the inherent worth but because it is an expectation. I stop at stop
signs when there is no sense, no cars, no pedestrians, for example.

Codes have a profound effect on people, recognized for centuries. They
serve to inculcate, and develop and preserve societal or organizational
values. Codes don't just reflect values, they CREATE THEM, via an
internalization process.

> This prior knowledge cannot
> be acquired by rote learning.

Codification is not rote learning.

> It has to emerge within a person. It usually
> requires spiritual "midwifery" -- another caring human (rather than an
> impersonal code) who understand what it takes to upheld humane values. I
> think that it is exactly here where traditional education lost complete
> insight of its task.

I would much prefer that people treat people humanely because they DO care
(on this I suggest we agree). However, codification is a means of
enhancing behavior, and need not have to reach a "core" to do so.

> I agree that codifying humane values is longer and harder.

You can't codify values easily although the great religions are all
based on such codification. You can codify BEHAVIOR.

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