Code of ethics can be defined as guidelines which are established to help people in an organization behave in a manner that is acceptable.
It is very significant in decision making process as it helps in deciding between right and wrong (Shaikh, 2006). A lot of organizations are governed by a code of ethics and although it is important in all organizations, it is most important in the organizations that deal with sensitive issues like healthcare. A code of ethics is very significant not only due to the fact that it establishes a favorable working condition and standard, but also due to the fact that it helps members of the public build confidence with a particular organization. Although there are different codes of ethics, there are certain issues that are covered in each like goals of an organization as well as some ethical issues and behaviors that are adopted by every organization. It should therefore be explicitly written and easy to follow for it to accomplish its ultimate goal of setting the right standard for people in an organization. Some of the different codes of ethics include, business, employee, personal and professional codes of ethics, to mention just a few.
There is much concerning codes of ethics and due to that, this essay shall narrow down to comparing and contrasting business and employee codes of ethics. Since the goal of different codes of ethics is the same, there are a number of similarities between different codes of ethics. However, there are still some notable differences. Many organizations have got an employee code of ethics that stipulates the expected behavior of employees in that particular organization. For instance, studies of Employee Code of Ethics (n.d.
) illustrate that a company may tolerate mistakes but cannot put up with an employee that violates its code of ethics. The main goal is to ensure that the reputation of the company is not affected by the behavior of an employee in and out of the company’s environment. The company code of ethics contains the internal and external guidelines to govern the behavior of each and every employee. Similarly, a business code of ethics contains the values and the goals of the entire business organization. It is also inclusive of an employee code of conduct since it stipulates the expected behavior of each and every employee. As much as business code of ethics and conduct is related to the employee code of ethics, there are some differences of the same.
According to Craven & Mills (2004), the business code of ethics for Lonmin Plc is very different from the code of ethics for employees. Further studies illustrate that a business code of ethics contains not only the code of conduct for the employees but also a fame work for conducting business practices. For instance, the framework incorporates such issues such as the responsibility of the business entity to the environment as well as other issues related to the business itself like protection of its assets, relationship with the government, its social responsibility as well as health and safety issues. Business code of ethics and employee code of ethics are very important to ensure that ethical issues are taken care of in each and every organization. Apart from developing a code of ethics, it is very important to ensure that it is adhered to, failure to which the business, society and the employees can be greatly affected. All codes of ethics are similar since they contain goals and the set standards of behavior. However, the main difference between business code of ethics and employee code of ethics is due to the fact that a business code of ethics is more comprehensive. Moreover, the two are not only related, but business code of ethics gives rise to an employee’s code of ethics.
Whichever the case, both are important documents in every organization and should not be done away with at any particular time.
Craven, J. & Mills, B. (2004). Code Of Business Ethics. Retrieved September 23, 2010, from http://www.lonmin.com/assets/pdf/code_of_business_ethics.
pdf Employee Code of Ethics. (n.d.). Retrieved September 23, 2010, from https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/media/en/gui/15228/Code_of_Ethics_1_22_07.
pdf Shaikh. (2006). Business Environment. Delhi: Pearson Education India .