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Australian National University

1. O'Rourke, Kerrie Jean. The Ethics of Codes of Ethics .

Degree: 2017, Australian National University

Medical codes of ethics have long been understood as social contracts and have evolved in the way they are developed in some countries to reflect this, through regular consultation processes and periodic updates. If the medical code of ethics is breached, then attention often turns to those who breach the code rather than to a search for some inadequacy of the code that failed to change behaviour. By contrast, business codes of ethics are developed for a number of reasons, including legal compliance, and are not always developed in such a way that they can adequately reflect the extant social contract. When the social contract is breached by individuals of a corporation, attention often turns to the code in an attempt to identify the inadequacies that allowed the breach. This thesis examines the philosophical, empirical and historical research to discover how codes of ethics are perceived in the research, what the empirical investigation of codes of ethics tells us, and how codes of ethics have evolved. It reveals that theories to support the notion that codes of ethics for business are social contracts have been developed only relatively recently. It also reveals that while there is broad acceptance of this notion, there is little evidence to indicate that some of the usual processes used to develop codes of ethics are geared towards producing a social contract. This thesis argues that the development process for a code is fundamental to its capacity to reflect the social contract, but that this aspect of codes is poorly studied. A framework which outlines the approaches used for developing a code of ethics is offered in this thesis to facilitate understanding and inform discussion of the issue. Studies of codes of ethics for business tell us some empirical information, but the quality of many primary studies is poor and meta-analyses are few. This fact provides an opportunity to identify and discuss gaps and assumptions in the research to help provide direction for future research efforts. The history and evolution of medical codes of ethics in the UK are used as a case study to demonstrate how business and researchers could re-frame thinking about business codes of ethics and their development. The Ethics of Codes of Ethics has two predominant objectives. Firstly, it provides a critique of existing approaches to both the development and implementation of codes of ethics. Secondly, it provides constructive suggestions for changes to the way business codes of ethics are conceived, developed and researched. This dual (critical and constructive) approach is used to highlight how codes of ethics actually need to be developed in such a way that they better reflect the social contract between a business and the society in which it operates. It is only by reflecting…

Subjects/Keywords: Business ethics; Codes of ethics; Code of ethics development; Code of ethics history; Good Medical Practice; Medical codes of ethics; Social Contract; Stakeholder input

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

O'Rourke, K. J. (2017). The Ethics of Codes of Ethics . (Thesis). Australian National University. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1885/143528

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

O'Rourke, Kerrie Jean. “The Ethics of Codes of Ethics .” 2017. Thesis, Australian National University. Accessed September 19, 2019. http://hdl.handle.net/1885/143528.

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

O'Rourke, Kerrie Jean. “The Ethics of Codes of Ethics .” 2017. Web. 19 Sep 2019.

Vancouver:

O'Rourke KJ. The Ethics of Codes of Ethics . [Internet] [Thesis]. Australian National University; 2017. [cited 2019 Sep 19]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/1885/143528.

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

Council of Science Editors:

O'Rourke KJ. The Ethics of Codes of Ethics . [Thesis]. Australian National University; 2017. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/1885/143528

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

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