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 documents are formally addressed and need to be accepted by the members when they join the organisation for the first time. These help the business enterprise in regulating the business efficiently. The primary difference between code of ethics and code of conduct is that code of ethics is a set of principles which influence the judgement while the code of conduct is a set of guidelines that influence employee’s actions.
Content: Code of Ethics Vs Code of Conduct
|Basis for Comparison||Code of Ethics||Code of Conduct|
|Meaning||An aspirational document, issued by the board of directors containing core ethical values, principles and ideals of the organization is Code of Ethics.||A directional document containing specific practices and behavior, that are followed or restricted under the organization is Code of Conduct.|
|Disclosure||Publicly disclosed.||Employees only.|
|Focused on||Values or principles||Compliance and rules|
Definition of Code of Ethics
Code of Ethics is a document issued by the top-level management, which consist of a set of principles, designed to guide the members of the organisation to carry out business honestly and with integrity. It describes the core values of the organisation that guides the decision-making. It provides ethical standards which are to be followed by the members. It sets out general guidelines to assist individuals to apply their judgment, concerning a suitable behaviour in a given situation.
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. Violation of the code of ethics by any member may result in termination or dismissal from the organisation.
Definition of Code of Conduct
Code of Conduct is a document that expresses the practices and behaviour of a person, required or restricted as a condition for becoming a member of the organisation or profession. The code sets out the actual rules, so it lays down the do’s and doesn’t s of an employee. The members are responsible for its adherence and held accountable for its violation.
Every organisation has its code of conduct issued by the Board of Directors (BOD) that determines the social norms, regulations and responsibilities. It is in the form of written statement; that contains rules for behaviour, which are supposed to be followed by the employees of the company. The document directs and guides the employees in various matters.
Key Differences Between Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct
The major differences between code of ethics and code of conduct are described in the given below points:
- Code of Ethics is an aspirational document, issued by the board of directors containing core ethical values, principles and ideals of the organisation. Code of Conduct is a directional document containing specific practices and behaviour, that are followed or restricted under the organisation.
- Code of Ethics is general is general in nature, whereas code of conduct is specific.
- Code of Conduct are originated from the code of ethics, and it converts the rules into specific guidelines, that must be followed by the members of the organisation.
- Lengthwise, code of ethics is a shorter document than a code of conduct.
- Code of Ethics regulates the judgment of the organisation while a code of conduct regulates the actions.
- Code of Ethics is publicly available, i.e. anyone can access it. Conversely, Code of Conduct is addressed to employees only.
- Code of Ethics focuses on values or principles. On the other hand, Code of Conduct is focused on compliance and rules.
Code of Conduct is actually extracted from the Code of Ethics. Therefore, the latter concept is wider than the former. Moreover, these codes are beneficial for businesses of any size and nature as the codes lays down direction which is helpful for employees, to behave in a particular manner and also making a public image of ethical behaviour.