Code of Ethics and a Code of Conduct

According to conduct laws, some specific activities are appropriate, while others are inappropriate. Both a Code of Ethics and a Code of Conduct are used to encourage employees to engage in certain types of behavior. 

Code of ethics defines the minimum requirements for conduct, and behavioural expectations instead of specific activities. While code of conduct is designed to prevent certain types of behaviours like conflict of interest, self-dealing, bribery and inappropriate actions.

Code of Ethics is referred to as a Values, which behaves like the Constitution with general principles to guide behaviour, outlining a set of principles that affect decision-making. It is a framework of norms, standards, principles, and values that define how members of an organization should behave.
It contains the organization’s essential ethical values, principles, and ideals. It’s a policy document that outlines certain practices and behaviors that must be followed or avoided within the organization.
A code of ethics is a collection of guidelines that guide decision-making. A code of conduct is a collection of rules that govern how employees behave.
In comparison to a code of conduct, a code of ethics has a broader scope. Code of conduct has narrower scope.
Ethical standards are often non-specific and are intended to provide a set of ideals or a framework for making decisions. In general, code of conduct provide forth a reasonably clear set of expectations for what acts are required, acceptable, and prohibited.
It allows employees to make their own decisions regarding the best course of action. It allows employees to work in accordance with the regulations, and the norms govern their actions.
Example: Civil servants are dedicated to the public good. The Code of Ethics will stipulate that a public servant’s judgments should be driven by the greater good and that the best solution for the community should be chosen. Example: Guidelines for accepting presents by government employees are included in code of conducts, as are particular behavior controlling rules.

Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct help the institutions in regulating the day to day business efficiently. While code of conduct is something that states organized values, code of ethics is used to observe ethical norms and gives a foundation to rules of conduct.

Practice question

With suitable examples, distinguish between “code of ethics” and “code of conduct”. (10 mark) (150 words)

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