[Answered] Distinguish between “Code of ethics” and “Code of conduct” with suitable examples.

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Explain what is code of ethics and code of conducts with example. Difference between code of ethics and code of conduct.
Conclusion. Way forward.

Both Code of Ethics and a Code of Conduct are similar as they are used in an attempt to encourage specific forms of behaviour by employees. Ethics guidelines attempt to provide guidance about values and choices to influence decision making. Conduct regulations assert that some specific actions are appropriate, others inappropriate. With similarities, comes differences.

Code of ethics:

  1. Code of Ethics are 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.
  2. Code of ethics would include the principles of integrity, impartiality, commitment to public service, accountability, devotion to duty, exemplary behaviour etc.
  3. It defines the minimum requirements for conduct, and behavioural expectations instead of specific activities.
  4. When faced with ethical dilemmas or debatable situations, what’s articulated in the Code of Ethics can help guide decision making.
  5. Code of ethics helps members in understanding what is right or wrong. The codes are disclosed publicly and hence addressed to the interested parties to know the way the company does business.

Example of code of ethics: E.g. Civil servants are committed to public services. The Code of Ethics will state that decisions of the public servant should be guided by larger common good and to choose the most beneficial solution for the community.

Code of Conduct:

  1. It is a set of rules, standards, principles and values outlining the expected behaviour for the members of an organisation.
  2. These are legally enforceable which sets out the standards of behaviour expected of those working in the public service.
  3. These are designed to prevent certain types of behaviours like conflict of interest, self-dealing, bribery and inappropriate actions.
  4. The Code of Conduct outlines specific behaviours that are required or prohibited as a condition of ongoing employment.

Example of code of conduct: E.g. code of conducts include guidelines on acceptance of gifts by government servants and specific behaviour regulating codes (class I officer shall not permit son or daughter to take employment with a company with which she has official dealings’ or ‘acquiring immovable property with previous knowledge of prescribed authority’ and so on).

It include core ethical values, principles and ideals of the organisation.It is a directional document containing specific practices and behaviour, that are followed or restricted under the organisation.
Code of ethics is a set of principles which influence the judgement.Code of conduct is a set of guidelines that influence employee’s actions.
Code of ethics are wider in nature as compared to code of conduct.Code of conduct are narrow.
Ethical standards generally are non-specific and are designed to provide a set of values or decision-making .Conduct standards generally provides a fairly clear set of expectations about which actions are required, acceptable or prohibited.
It enable employees to make independent judgments about the most appropriate course of action.It enable employees to work in compliance with rules and actions are guided by the codes.
A particular rule in the Code of Ethics might state that all employees will obey the law.A Code of Conduct might list several specific laws relevant to specific areas of organisational operations, that employees need to obey.

Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct are the standards that a group must adhere to, so as to remain the member of the organisation. These 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. Check out the article to know more on these two topics.

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