Ethics can be defined as an area of knowledge that studies the moral actions of society and its components, as well as the norms and rules that determine its behavior . Code of Ethics
Based on this concept, codes of ethics appear as a compilation of norms and rules that are adequate or more appropriate for a certain group of people. These codes can be demonstrated explicitly (such as deontological codes) or implicitly.
Benefits of codes of ethics
The establishment of a code of ethics generates numerous benefits to the business environment . They help to create a climate of trust in the company. Its credibility immediately increases the social and economic agents with which it interacts, being in many occasions more effective than government controls.
In addition, these codes establish a defensive barrier against possible negative publicity, as they cut the roots of business practices and also the conduct of employees considered to be unethical.
And finally the staff’s own satisfaction. Employees who identify with the company create a feeling of loyalty and a desire to always want to do their jobs better.
The difficulty of establishing a code of ethics
The moment to establish a code of ethics is a really complicated task, as it is not easy to resolve what is ethical and what is not. It must be taken into account that ethics goes beyond legislation, that is, an activity can be legal, but not ethical. For example, in several countries around the world the abuse of women is seen as something normal and not treated as a law, but without a doubt it is an ethically reprehensible practice from our point of view.
This last thought is directly linked to the difficulty of applying codes of ethics, which in the end is still a subjective idea. Ethics vary from one society to another. Each group judges actions differently depending on their cultural context or personal interests.
Therefore, it must always be remembered that ethics are ambiguous. There are situations in which the confrontation of opinions is guaranteed and, therefore, the main purpose of making a code of ethics public is not to pretend that everything is governed by standards of conduct, but to know those that can be considered acceptable or not.