Companies have something called a code of ethics that outlines how they will run their business. Sometimes they refer to this as their code of conduct. There aren’t always laws to govern things like ethics. Therefore, it is up to companies to define some of their ethical behavior.
According to the International Labor Organization, “Unlike labor law, corporate codes of conduct do not have any authorized definition. The concept “corporate code of conduct” refers to companies’ policy statements that define ethical standards for their conduct. There is a great variance in the ways these statements are drafted. Corporate codes of conduct are completely voluntary. They can take a number of formats and address any issue – workplace issues and workers’ rights being just one possible category. Also, their implementation depends totally on the company concerned.”
Click here for an article on the difference between laws and ethics.
The following is a list of some major companies and their code of ethics:
- Amazon’s Code of Conduct or Ethics
- Apple’s Code of Conduct or Ethics
- Dell’s Code of Conduct or Ethics
- Facebook’s Code of Conduct or Ethics
- Google’s Code of Conduct or Ethics
- Intel’s Code of Conduct or Ethics
- LinkedIn’s Code of Conduct or Ethics
- Microsoft’s Code of Conduct or Ethics
- Twitter’s Code of Conduct or Ethics
- Yahoo!’s Code of Conduct or Ethics
In researching these companies, it was interesting that Facebook didn’t have a clearly defined code of ethics listed in the same way other companies did. For more about Facebook, check out the Wall Street Journal article: Facebook Agrees to Work With Government on Germany Privacy Code.