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Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility

Defining An Organization's Ethics Brand

Most of the world does not distinguish between Corporate Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility when it comes to determining what it means for a company to be ethical. Yet within companies, these two approaches tend to be located in separate departments, have different lines of authority, and different sources of institutional support. Is there a way to integrate them into a single model of an ethical company and mold a coherent Corporate Ethics Brand?

The November 1, 2004 promulgation of the Revised Sentencing Guidelines advising companies that ethics and compliance programs should "promote an organizational culture that encourages ethical conduct and a commitment to compliance with the law," and the proliferation of Socially Responsible Investment Funds (SRIs) that screen corporate ethics performance in a broad range of categories-to cite just two prominent examples-raise the question of how an organization's core ethical competency ought to be defined.

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