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IOG Policy Brief No. 20: Ethics Codes Revisited: A New Focus on Outcomes

There are two very different types of ethics codes: compliance codes and values-based codes, and managers of organizations who want to implement a written ethics code must choose between them. The choice is important, not only because it determines the enforceability of the code and how adaptable it will be in unforeseen situations, but also because it is an indicator for the style of management. This policy brief provides a short evaluation of these considerations and proposes a third option: outcome-oriented codes, which allow for the combination of the best elements of the compliance and values-based approaches.

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