A construct of the 'ethos of codes of ethics' (ECE) : the case of private and public Sweden
Svensson, Goran, Wood, Greg and Callaghan, Michael 2009, A construct of the 'ethos of codes of ethics' (ECE) : the case of private and public Sweden, International journal of public sector management, vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 499-515.
Purpose – The objective of this paper is to develop and describe a construct of the “ethos of the codes of ethics” (i.e. an ECE construct) in the private and public sectors of Sweden.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper takes a cross-sector approach to codes of ethics amongst the top private sector companies and the top public sector organisations. The paper then examines the measures put in place by the dual sample in order to describe the ethos of their codes of ethics.
Findings – The multivariate techniques used in the statistical analysis indicated that the ECE-construct consists of five dimensions: ethical bodies, ethical tools, ethical support procedures, internal ethics usage, and external ethics usage.
Research limitations/implications – It should be noted that the ECE construct has been derived from large companies and organisations in private and public Sweden, which may indicate less applicability to smaller operations. Another limitation may be the validity and reliability across other cultural samples. The dual sample contains a variety of different types of operations, but it may not be transferable to other countries.
Practical implications – The outcome is based on data from private companies and public organisations that indicated they had corporate codes of ethics. Therefore, a suggestion for further research is to examine the ECE construct in other countries/cultures that differ from the ones in this research effort performed in the private and public sectors of Sweden.
Originality/value – The ECE construct introduced makes a contribution to theory and practice in the field as it is based upon a dual sample. It makes a contribution to theory as it outlines a construct for the benefit of other researchers working in both the private and the public sectors. The authors also believe that it may be of managerial interest as it provides a grounded framework of areas to be considered in the implementation of the codes of ethics in both private companies and public organisations.
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