Organizational ethics

Research output: Book chapterChapter


Organizational ethics refers to the set of values that identifies an organization either as it is perceived by those working in the organization or by those who have dealings with the organization. Organizational ethics can be considered in a broad sense (that is, as the set of values which structures the organization and its practices) or in a narrow sense (that is, as only those values that express the vision, the raison d'être and the commitments of the organization, and which are linked to its identity). We can speak of organizational ethics on the basis of various focal points: (i) the organization's practices - identifying the values which in fact structure organizational functioning; (ii) formal statements - studying the discourse which is proposed as a value reference for the organization; (iii) the processes which permit continual reinterpretation of the relationship between statements and practices, and (iv) the project - stressing what is relevant to the creation and renewal of corporate identity. These four perspectives are not mutually exclusive. However, we can recognize them as evolutionary sequences of organizational ethics. This chapter conceives organizational ethics as an opportunity for learning and innovation. Organizational ethics is here viewed not merely as a process of awareness but as a project through which organizations reflect on themselves.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of business ethics: Ethics in the new economy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013


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