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Chapter XV. Ethics and E-Business: An Ox... > Ethical Guidelines or Codes of Condu...

Ethical Guidelines or Codes of Conduct?

The ethical climate of an organisation ’refers to perceptions of the firm’s practices and procedures that have ethical content. Manifestations of a positive ethical climate may include written ethics policies or codes of conduct, ethics training programs, and the installation of an ethics officer or ombudsman to assist employees in resolving ethical dilemmas’ (Sama & Shoaf, 2002).

The code of ethics that establishes ideals and responsibilities of the e-business profession protects both customers and professionals. It should improve the profile of the profession by motivating and inspiring practitioners, raising awareness and consciousness of issues and improving quality and consistency. Since codes of ethics standards are not obligatory, their ethical values are culturally relativistic. Nevertheless, Johnson (1998) argues that Internet service providers, e-businesses, on-line services and civic networks should have a code of ethics, known as netiquette, to serve new users in cyberspace.


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