What Is a Compliance-Based Ethics Code?

A compliance-based ethics code is one geared toward making sure employees do not break laws, such as those set by the government, and all the rules in the code are for shaping behavior for this purpose. This type of ethics code usually is very clear and has penalties for those who don't comply. The company trains managers and employees in following the rules and monitors them for compliance.

Compliance-based ethics differs from value-oriented ethics in that it requires specific behavior, while value-oriented ethics gives employees some discernment and independence in making decisions. Value-oriented ethics can help make employees more committed. Both types of ethics codes are effective for making those in the company behave more ethically, make better decisions and understand ethical issues.