Management Consulting/Ethics


what are the benefits of a published code of ethics?

Hello Deanna,

Thanks for your question.  I am happy to assist.

I am a small business so I have a simple code I publish and follow:  integrity, balance, experience, judgment, passion.  Most would say that is not much of a code of ethics, but ethics has to do with behavior and there are a lot of behavior traits in that statement.   I have been part of the decision to terminate  executives for violations of Codes of Ethics – kind of says in its own way the codes are important.  Anyway…  I did a little research since it has been a while since I visited the topic… here is a compilation of the benefits and importance of a code of ethics with my own opinions included.

•   Guides all managerial decisions
•   Provides a common framework upon which all decisions are founded
•   Creates a cohesive understanding of the boundaries within an organization
•   Sets standards for interacting with and responsibilities toward external stakeholders (public or private)
•   Protects a company's reputation and legal standing in the event of a breach of ethics by an individual employee
•   Applicable to all levels of employees and when communicated can be applied to situations with vendors and contractors as well
•   Can be tailored to global geographical locations (sometimes need to be blended with specific country requirements).  Codes of ethics take on additional importance and complexity in the international arena. Ethical standards differ between countries and regions; international businesspeople must have an understanding of each culture's ethical standards to effectively represent the company.  The company's code of ethics may either be written to compromise with foreign ethical standards or to uphold a single code in all countries.

A team of employees should be used to create the code … and research other examples to make sure the finished product is customized to the business.  It should be reviewed by a small representative committee every few years to assure applicability given possible changes in industry or legal environments.

Ongoing training is huge (new hires, on-board employees) to seat and institutionalize an ethics code.  The company cannot “lean on” or apply a code that is not well communicated.  I have seen companies that require employees to annually review, online, their codes of ethics with examples given to bring the code to life. Linking executive behavior to compensation incentives helps get the message across (there is no additional incentive for compliance, but there is dis-incentive for non-compliance).

Here is an example of a company who walks the talk, lives its ethics code… many do but this is a great example:

I hope that helps Deanna.  I would appreciate it if you would evaluate this  answer using the four multiple-choice questions… only takes a minute…always interested in continuous improvement!


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Mark Eichinger


Any type of question related to domestic and international Human Resources work. Topic categories would include Employment Practice, Compensation design and systems in competitive markets, Health and Safety in Industrial Environments, Diversity Management, Performance Management, Talent and Career Management (Hiring, Selection, Employee Development), Communications, Coaching, Counseling, Leadership, and Management. Can’t answer: I am sure there are questions within these categories that may surface that I may not be able to answer but my experience below would suggest those would be few.


I own International Human Resources Coaching and Consulting, LLC. I successfully held corporate leadership positions from 1979 to 2007 in two $9B+ multi-national corporations. Positions included: Vice President, Human Resources for the Asia Pacific Region, Eaton Corporation; I was based in Shanghai, China. Prior to that assignment, Vice President, Human Resources Operations, Eaton World Headquarters, Cleveland, Ohio with global responsibility for Eaton’s Human Resources practices, international assignee management, and Regional Human Resources Directors in Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa and Central and South America. Specifically, my experience spans work at domestic and international locations at the operating plant, division, business unit, and corporate levels and most business scenarios to include startups, closedowns, restructurings, integrations, and ongoing operations. I am an Eaton Business Excellence Assessment Examiner (Malcolm Baldrige based system). I introduced processes and process mapping into the Human Resources environment. I have extensive experience with and working in domestic and international organization matrix structures. In the Asia Pacific region I created and led the Asia Pacific level H.R. team, the professional and general manager development programs, China’s university relations program and managed the Asia Pacific key leaders process. I have coached managers and leaders. I am a professional listener, my style open, direct, and focused on leader accountability and employee engagement. In Summary, my career responsibility included more than 60,000 employees, 60 union and union free operations, and 45 countries. I also lived in Korea for two years while in service with the USA’s armed forces.

SCORE – Counselors to Americas Small Business; at various locations I have also belonged to Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis and the Chamber of Commerce. I have served on Boards of medical, community and institutional organizations.

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Youngstown State University MBA work Youngstown State University, and University of Bridgeport University of Tennessee, Lean Manufacturing Certified Thunderbird School of Global Management, Management Certified.

Awards and Honors
Corporate level awards for compensation systems, communications campaigns.

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