Codes of Conduct in Organisational Context: From Cascade to Lattice-Work of Codes

Preuss, Lutz
July 2010
Journal of Business Ethics;Jul2010, Vol. 94 Issue 4, p471
Academic Journal
Codes of conduct have proliferated not only at company level, but also at supra- and sub-organisational levels. However, the latter have remained an under-researched area within the CSR literature. Hence, this article examined what range of organisational and sub-organisational codes large companies – here the FTSE100 constituent companies – have developed. The article isolated seven different types of organisational and sub-organisational codes, which together with six supra-organisational ones form a lattice-work of intermeshing documents. Such a division of labour between types of codes has two significant implications for CSR practice and research. In terms of corporate practice, an analysis of the content of the organisational and sub-organisational codes indicates that companies seem to enter into generalised commitments in the more visible documents, whereas other aspects, in particular more coercive aspects of CSR, get buried in the lower levels of the code hierarchy. In terms of research methodology, the differentiation between codes highlights that an analysis of codes of conduct alone is insufficient to establish what the CSR approach of a company is. Rather, it is the entire range of codes at organisational and sub-organisational levels that scholars of codes of conduct should be concerned with.


Related Articles

  • Managing Global Supply Chain: The Sports Footwear, Apparel and Retail Sectors. Mamic, Ivanka // Journal of Business Ethics;Jun2005 Part 2, Vol. 59 Issue 1/2, p81 

    Amongst a backdrop of debate regarding Codes of Conduct and their raison d'etre this paper provides a detailed summary of the management systems used by multinational enterprises in the Code implementation process. It puts forth a framework for analysis based on the elements of -- the creation...

  • From Chain Liability to Chain Responsibility. Tulder, Rob; Wijk, Jeroen; Kolk, Ans // Journal of Business Ethics;Apr2009 Supplement 2, Vol. 85, p399 

    This article examines whether the involvement of stakeholders in the design of corporate codes of conduct leads to a higher implementation likelihood of the code. The empirical focus is on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH). The article compares the inclusion of OSH issues in the codes of...

  • Adequacy of International Codes of Behavior. Behrman, Jack N. // Journal of Business Ethics;May2001 Part 1, Vol. 31 Issue 1, p51 

    International codes of corporate behavior have been proposed, discussed, negotiated, and promulgated by governments, transnational corporations, and inter-corporate associations over the past few decades. It is not clear that they have been resoundingly as successful in changing corporate...

  • Global Business Citizenship and Voluntary Codes of Ethical Conduct. Logsdon, Jeanne M.; Wood, Donna J. // Journal of Business Ethics;Jun2005 Part 2, Vol. 59 Issue 1/2, p55 

    This article describes the theory and process of global business citizenship (GBC) and applies it in an analysis of characteristics of company codes of business conduct. GBC is distinguished from a commonly used term, "corporate citizenship," which often denotes corporate community involvement...

  • Trans-National Campaign.  // Chain Reaction;2002, Issue 87, p20 

    Analyzes the argument of transnational corporations (TNC) that self-management of corporate behavior is the best way to achieve environmental and social responsibility. Effect of the tendency for non-governmental organizations to engage with TNC; Benefits from the trend towards more voluntary...

  • "Minding Our Business": What the United States Government has done and can do to Ensure that U.S. Multinationals Act Responsibly in Foreign Markets. Aaronson, Susan Ariel // Journal of Business Ethics;Jun2005 Part 2, Vol. 59 Issue 1/2, p175 

    The United States Government does not mandate that US based firms follow US social and environmental law in foreign markets. However, because many developing countries do not have strong human rights, labor, and environmental laws, many multinationals have adopted voluntary corporate...

  • The supply chain: a key link for better governance.  // OECD Observer;Oct2002, Issue 234, p10 

    Discusses progress in the implementation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Advantages and difficulties of multistakeholder cooperation; Importance of supply chain management to alleviate poverty and improve respect of human rights; Initiatives for global corporate...

  • Adoption of corporate social responsibility codes by multinational companies. Levis, Julien // Journal of Asian Economics;Feb2006, Vol. 17 Issue 1, p50 

    Abstract: Multinational companies (MNCs) increasingly publicize their commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and advertise their Codes of conduct. These CSR Codes are the result of genuine corporate intent as well as external pressure. We underline the risks of corporate...

  • Global Code of Conduct Drafting Strategy. Dowling Jr., Donald C. // International Law News;Spring2010, Vol. 39 Issue 1, p20 

    The article discusses the significance of global code of conduct, a cornerstone of any corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy of multinational enterprises. It states that global codes of conduct vary substantially in purpose and content for they have to decide what type of conduct is...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics