A business code of ethics is important for the purpose of promoting ethical
thought and behavior within a business. The code should be clear, comprehensive, and to
the point. For a code to be effective it should be understood by everyone. Moreover, it
should be enforceable and clearly stated within, how it will be enforced. It must not leave
out any of the stakeholders that may possibly conduct any kind of business with the
company. I have chosen to evaluate how effective the Caux Roundtable's code of ethics
A code should clearly communicate to the audience its purpose. The code serves a
second purpose as a guideline for the company. It should emphasize exactly what is
expected from the employee. The Caux's code does exactly that. The company's sense of
value is very clearly expressed throughout their code. It even has a section to itself
dedicated to how an employee should be treated.
The proper business behavior is very
easy to understand. Respect for the rules is one of the main highlights they go over.
Furthermore, it goes a step further to make ethical decisions. It doesn't stop at just
obeying the rules; it goes one more step stating that just because something it legal to do,
doesn't mean that it is the right thing to do.
Many codes leave out one very important factor; how it will be enforced. Like
any set of rules or guidelines if you don't list how they will be enforced, and implement
the enforcement, many will chose just not to obey them. Caux's code does a great job of
explaining how business should be but lacks describing how business is going to be. I
believe it is important to stakeholders to know that the code is not just a bunch of empty
I believe the most important element to writing a code of ethics for a business is
to write it from all of the stakeholder's perspectives that may conduct business with the
company. After listing the way things should be done, Caux's code does a good job of
listing the responsibilities it holds to give the customers, employees, owners, investors,
suppliers, competitors, and communities. It has a section dedicated to each of the
stakeholders at hand. No one is left out. Furthermore, they even include their
responsibilities to their competition. This gives the reader the idea that Caux truly
believes in a social duty to everyone. When a company states it will give fairness to
everyone, it helps to promote positive business ethics to everyone.