Why Have a Code of Ethics?
"There has been a dramatic increase in the ethical
expectations of businesses and professions over the past ten years.
Increasingly, customers, clients and employees are deliberately
seeking out those who define the basic ground rules of their
operations on a day to day...."
"Why have a Code of Ethics?
"The need for special ethical principles in a
scientific society is the same as the need for ethical principles in
society as a whole. They are mutually beneficial. They help make our
relationships mutually pleasant and productive. A professional society
is a voluntary, cooperative organization, and those who must conform
to its rules are also those who benefit from the conformity of others.
Each has a stake in maintaining general compliance."
"...instruments for persuasion both of members of (a)
profession and the public. They enhance the sense of community among
members, of belonging to a group with common values and a common
"A profession's ethical standards must be compatible
with our common morality, but they go beyond our common morality. You
could say that they interpret our common morality for the specific
details of work of a particular occupational group."
"The very exercise of developing a code is in itself
worthwhile; it forces a large number of people...to think through in a
fresh way their mission and the important obligations they as a group
and as individuals have with respect to society as a whole."
Many have attributed the popularity of codes of ethics, in the U.S. at least, to U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines that reward companies for having compliance policies, including codes of ethics, in place.
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