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What we mean by code of ethics? Explain how can high ethics standards maintained in an organization?

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Introduction

What we mean by code of ethics? Explain how can high ethics standards maintained in an organization? Code of ethics is a written document that states values and ethical standards intended to guide the behavior of employees. The word ethics, as commonly understood, refers to principles of behavior that distinguish between good, bad, right, and wrong. The purpose of ethics, or code of ethics, is to enable individuals to make choices among alternative behaviors. The role of and state of ethics have become a growing concern among managers and the public. Studies indicate that many managers feel pressured by their employers to commit ethically questionable acts. In one study of 1500 top, middle, and first -level managers, more than 40 percent of the respondents reported they had compromised their personal principles to meet an organizational demand. This development had led many individuals and managers to believe that the level of ethics in business has declined over the last decade. Second, business ethics have become a topic of concern because businesses are realizing that ethical misconduct by management can be extremely costly for the company and for the society as a whole. ...read more.

Middle

Johnson & Johnson's credo, one example of a corporate code of ethics. Like many codes, J&J credo specifies its values and beliefs concerning its relationships and responsibilities toward its different constituents (i.e. customers, employees, community, and shareholders). The credo also states J&J's objectives concerning each constituency and norms of behavior such as "supporting good works and charities" and " encouraging civic improvements ". "J&J has a credo, a living document that applies to any activity here," says Juan Cedeno, senior environmental engineer at the local plant. The credo describes J&J's commitment to customers, employees and communities. One line describes its approach to the environment, including energy: "We must maintain in good order the property we are privileged to use, protecting the environment and natural resources." Ideally, a code of ethics (code of conduct) should provide employees with direction in dealing with ethical dilemmas, clarify the organization's position regarding areas of ethical uncertainty, and achieve and maintain overall ongoing conduct that the organization views as ethical and proper. ...read more.

Conclusion

Xerox Corporation, for example, has dismissed employees both for violations that are serious (taking bribes) and for those that are relatively insignificant (petty cheating on expense accounts). These actions were taken to communicate the company's commitment to the code and the importance of maintaining ethical behavior. Many organizations also periodically conduct ethics seminars to keep employees sensitive to the place of ethics in the company and to help them develop skills in handling ethical dilemmas. Many companies with effective ethics programs emphasize the importance of setting realistic performance objectives for subordinates. Setting unreasonable goals promotes the use of unethical behavior to achieve those objectives, Especially when the performance goals are linked to rewards. Establishing the position of ethics advocates often recommended action. The ethics advocate is normally a top -level executives whom, in a sense, serves as the organization's full-time ethical conscience. The advocate evaluates the organization's actions from an ethical perspective and vigorously and openly questions the ethical implications of proposed plans of action. Other companies have gone even further in their efforts to be good corporate citizens, hiring lawyers and consultants to act as watchdogs over their activities. ...read more.

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