Writing a Company’s Code of Ethics

W. Michael Hoffman of the Center for Business Ethics at Bentley College penned a 1999 Writing a Company’s Code of Ethics for Perspectives on the Professions.

If employees are not brought into the process in some such way as I have suggested, they will be turned off. The code will seem something “they” have imposed on “us”. That’s not what ethics should be. Ethics should be part of an organizational community. Everything should be done to make employees see that having a code of ethics can strengthen the ethical environment in which they work, as well as protect the company legally. Everything should be done to make employees understand that the code is subject to change, revision, and renewal – and that they will have a part. So, in a sense, the code is never finished.

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