Code of Ethics

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Description of Code of Ethics. Explanation.

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Definition Code of Ethics. Description.


A Code of Ethics is a set of standards, rules, guidelines, and values that govern and guide ethical business behavior in a company, profession, or (non-profit) organization of it's employees (members, practitioners), managers and leaders, interactions among these employees, managers and leaders, and interactions between these employees, managers and leaders and the general public.


Since the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley legislation, any publicly held company is required to create its own Code of Ethics to deter wrongdoing and to promote ethical behavior.


The SEC regulations implementing section 406 ("SEC Implementing Regulations") define a Code of Ethics to mean written standards that are reasonably designed to deter wrongdoing and to promote:
(i) honest and ethical conduct, including the ethical handling of actual and apparent conflicts of interest;
(ii) full, fair, accurate, timely and understandable disclosure in reports and documents filed with or submitted to the SEC and in other public communications;
(iii) compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations;
(iv) prompt internal reporting of code violations to an appropriate person; and
(v) accountability for adherence to the code.
 

Some codes of ethics have the force of law. Violations of these codes may be subject to administrative (e.g., loss of license), civil or penal remedies. Other codes can be enforced by the promulgating organization alone; violations of these codes is usually limited to loss of membership in the organization. Other codes are merely advisory and there are no prescribed remedies for violations or even procedures for determining whether a violation even occurred. Furthermore, the effectiveness of codes of ethics depends on the extent to which the management of the organization embraces and supports them.


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Compare with: Moral Purpose  |  Clarkson Principles  |  Corporate Transparency  |  Corporate Accountability  |  Corporate Governance  |  Corporate Responsibility  |  Strategic Stakeholder Management  |  Intrinsic Stakeholder Commitment  |  Globalization

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