Codes of conduct

In the 1990s, almost every major company in the world drafted an international code of conduct. What does this trend actually mean? What can we say about the effectiveness of codes fo conduct, from a societal and a managerial perspective? Do explicit codes help to tackle major present-day world problems?

The booklet International Codes of Conduct, to be downloaded below, bundles four articles recently published in leading international business and management journals on codes of conduct. The articles summarises state-of the-art research on international codes of conduct and discuss the relevant literature. A standardised framework of analysis is presented and applied to the codes proposed by firms, governments and other societal groups. Four analytical angles are applied: general trends and actor dynamics, sectors, issues and effectiveness. There is a multitude of possible analytical and methodological perspectives. This collection of articles enables to discern a number of common themes, methodologies and insights.

The ultimate ambition remains to understand the effectiveness of codes in dealing with the most daunting societal issues of the 21st century such as child labour, environmental degradation, poverty, human rights. International codes of conduct provide only one of many dimensions of corporate social responsibility (albeit an important one).

Click the cover or this link to download the full booklet in pdf.

Also available for download:

Ans Kolk, Rob van Tulder (2005) ‘Setting new global rules? TNCs and codes of conduct’, Transnational Corporations, vol.14, no.3: 1-27. Click here to download the article (pdf, 131kb)