The implementation of ethics
code (also known as) “codes of conduct or
ethics policies) play a vital role in the development of global organisations.
A corporate’s ethics code should
serve as the foundation where individuals must make decisions based on trust,
integrity, honesty and confidence REFERENCE. According
to Nieuwenhuizen and Oosthuizen (2014),
business ethics are vital for corporations as they define the values and morals
of an organisation. Currently, the importance of ethical business
policies has increased due to globalization of the economy that has contributed
to consistent growth of competition between companies.
well-communicated codes of conduct are aimed to influence behaviour by outlining the mission, values and the type of behaviour
desired and expected from employees and other stakeholders from an ethical
point of view within an organisation (Crane and Matten 2015). To be effective, the development and the
implementation of ethical policies need to be carefully considered. Codes of
conduct should reflect the true values and behaviours that an organisation
would like to maintain.
This paper will analyse how ethical codes shape the ethical
behaviour and experiences of individuals involved within specific companies and
examine such standards of behaviour by researching the company’s activities.
Furthermore, this paper will consider corporate (managers, workers, board etc) ethics and morals as actors, who can act in a wrong or right manner although
“ethics codes” specifies the standard of ethical behaviour to which every
individual aspires to.
of conduct shape ethical behaviour of individuals in an organisation:
According to Crane and Matten (2015), implementing codes of
conduct is a key skill for managing business ethics, as it enables managers to
develop and adopt appropriate rules to create realistic modes of behaviour
which applies to everyone, from the board of directors to the newest recruit.
An employee’s behaviour is highly influenced by such
policies as a study carried out by Mark
John Somers shows how such policies shape ethical behaviour, by developing codes of conduct that define their
expectations. The behaviour of employees depends on how effective the ethical policies are, and the
individual’s ability to interpret and apply the policies to a variety of
Applying ethics code in
business to change unethical behaviour has become one of the most challenging
issues. An effective program of ethics requires involvement and commitment from
employees at all levels. The constituents should ensure commitment towards
ethical behaviour at all levels.
The Primary aim of McDonalds ethics code is to provide a
sustainable work environment, respect all its employees, help local
communities, provide clean, hygienic restaurants and a safe atmosphere for all
customers REFERENCE. Codes of conduct is a crucial part of the
corporation’s ethical framework where policies are implemented to guide all
managerial decisions, creating a system where decisions are initiated. Numerous policies and procedures are in place
to guide and promote ethical behaviour within modern organizations. Crane and
Matten (2015) defines ethic codes as “a voluntary statement that commits an
organisation, industry, or profession to specific beliefs, values, and actions
and/or that set out appropriate ethical behaviour for employees” (Crane and
Matten 2015, pg.190).
McDonald’s main priority is their members rights. McDonalds
has developed a strategy that allows the employees relative freedom in working
with the firm. The implementation of the policies has given the workforce the
opportunity to behave freely. Furthermore, McDonalds wants its employees and
board members to always deal in a fair manner with customers, investors,
business partners, service providers, competitors, the public and one another.
The codes of conduct will ethically change the behaviour of staff members as
they would be required to always act with impartiality and professionalism to
ensure that the expression of personal views and convictions do not compromise
the performance of their official duties.
Part of McDonalds code of conduct policy is their duty to
make sure they buy good quality food from suppliers. Implementing ethical
policies prevent McDonalds from making bad decisions such as purchasing goods
from foreign suppliers who employ child labour, pay substandard wages, or have
sweatshop working conditions in their facilities. The firm has created a
culture where every worker is respected and gives every individual priority as
they believe it is the workforce who hold the key to its valued success. Making
individuals know how important they are and valuing them has enabled McDonalds
to improve its service provision to its clientele.
customers that they value integrity will significantly shape the behaviour as
they will feel reassured by the existence of codes of ethics by believing that the
firm values its integrity and operates accordingly when doing business.
According to Laufer and Robinson (1997), when employees
witness managers following ethical policies it positively effects other
individual’s behaviour to also act in accordance with the codes of conduct. A
study showed that management accountants working in organisations with
corporate codes report less wrongdoing than respondents in organizations
without formal codes. (Somers, 2001). Furthermore, Scalet (2006) stated that
organisations who had adopted codes of conduct created patterns of trust
amongst employees. These studies clearly show that ethical policies encourage
managers and to act with integrity.
A study carried out by Lee and Yoshihara (1997)
was designed to analyse the ethical behaviour of Korean and Japanese business
executives after implementing codes of conduct. The results portrayed a vital
factor showing that employees were willing to change and embrace the morals and
values of the firm after knowing that the executives also follow the ethical
policy. This shows how an employee’s ethical behaviour can change after knowing
how much importance the ethics code is to the business executive’s personal