Commitment to Business Ethics in UK Organizations

Georgina Whyatt, G. Wood, M. Callaghan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this research is to determine the commitment to business ethics in UK corporations. This study reports on the responses of those organizations that participated in the survey and possessed a code of ethics.

Design/methodology/approach
An unsolicited questionnaire was sent to the top 500 private sector organizations by market capitalization in the UK. A total of 92 companies responded, of which 56 possessed a code of ethics.

Findings
The empirical findings indicate that the processes involved in developing business ethics commitment have begun to be recognized and acted upon at an organizational level. The supporting measures of business ethics commitment appear to be under‐utilized by many of these UK organizations. This suggests that many organizations have not so far developed a strong organizational commitment to embedding their codes of ethics into organizational practices.

Research limitations/implications
While the responses provided a rich picture of organizational actions, further research exploring internal culture and attitudes would add to an understanding of organizational commitment.

Practical implications
It is found that in order to influence practice, it is not enough to have the artefacts of an ethical culture, such as codes, without ensuring that all employees are assisted in understanding what is required of them.

Originality/value
Despite a history of business ethics research, there are a limited number of studies seeking to understand UK companies' commitment to ethical codes. The paper provides guidance on steps that organizations can take to develop a higher level of commitment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-350
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Business Review
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Business ethics
Code of ethics
Organizational commitment
Employees
Guidance
Design methodology
Ethical codes
Private sector organizations
Organizational practices
Organizational level
Questionnaire
Ethical culture
Market capitalization

Keywords

  • United Kingdom (UK)
  • Business Ethics
  • Commitment
  • Private sector

Cite this

Commitment to Business Ethics in UK Organizations. / Whyatt, Georgina; Wood, G.; Callaghan, M.

In: European Business Review, Vol. 24, No. 4, 22.06.2012, p. 331-350.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Whyatt, Georgina ; Wood, G. ; Callaghan, M. / Commitment to Business Ethics in UK Organizations. In: European Business Review. 2012 ; Vol. 24, No. 4. pp. 331-350.
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