ABSTRACT.More and more organisations formu-late a code of conduct in order to stimulate respon-sible behaviour among their members. Much time andenergy is usually spent fixing the content of the codebut many organisations get stuck in the challenge of implementing and maintaining the code. The codethen turns into nothing else than the notorious “paper in the drawer”, without achieving its aims. The chal-lenge of implementation is to utilize the dynamicswhich have emerged from the formulation of thecode. This will support a continuous process of reflec-tion on the central values and standards contained inthe code. This paper presents an assessment method,based on the EFQM model, which intends to supportthis implementation process.KEY WORDS: assessment method, business ethics,code of conduct, continuous improvement, learningorganisation, quality management, responsible organ-isation, self-evaluation
During the last decade of the twentieth century,the debate around corporate social responsibility(CSR) seemed to intensify. The responsibilitiesof organisations are no longer addressed onlyby trade unions and environmental lobbies. Inparticular, “new” groupings such as employees,customers, managers, economists, shareholdersand public servants are taking up the subject
Measuring the Implementationof Codes of Conduct. AnAssessment Method Basedon a Process Approach of the Responsible Organisation
Journal of Business Ethics
: 65–78, 2003.© 2003
Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands. André Nijhof is an assistant professor at the faculty of Business, Public Administration and Technology of the University of Twente, Enschede, the Netherlands.Stakeholder theory, ethics of care and organisational change management are important theoretical notions inhis research. Nijhof has published in journals like the International Journal of Value Based Management, Journal of Business Ethics and the Leadership and Organisation Development Journal, besides several pub-lications in Dutch books and journals. Next to the assignment at the University of Twente Nijhof is working at the management consultancy firm Q-Consult in Arnhem.Stephan Cludts is researcher at the Centre for Economicsand Ethics of the Catholic University of Leuven,Belgium. He defended a Ph.D. on employee participa-tion in which he blended notions of business ethics and human resources management. His research interestsextend to stakeholder theory, ethics of leadership and social capital.
Andre Nijhof Stephan CludtsOlaf Fisscher Albertus Laan
Olaf Fisscher is Professor of Quality Management and Business Ethics at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. His area of research focuses on responsible management in innovation processes. Fisscher is the author of many articles and books on organisational values, quality management and management of tech-nology and innovation, including “Social-dynamical aspects of quality management in NPD (2000)” and “The myth of self-managing teams; A reflection on the allocation of responsibility between individuals, teamsand the organisation (1999). Albertus Laan had recently finished his graduation thesison the implementation of codes of conduct. He is working on a Ph.D. about the responsabilisation of firms in the Dutch construction industry. He is especially interested in views on human morality and decision making. He has published an article on the responsible organisationin the journal Management & Organisatie