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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Highlight the differences between codes of ethics and codes of conduct.

    07 Apr, 2021 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions

    Approach

    • Start the answer by defining codes of ethics and codes of conduct separately.
    • Discuss the major differences between the code of ethics and the code of conduct.
    • Conclude suitably.

    Introduction

    Code of Ethics is the system of morals that covers many aspects of life. They usually consist of general obligations and admonitions, or what one should do and refrain from doing.

    Code of Conduct is a document that expresses the practices and behavior of a person, required or restricted as a condition for becoming a member of the organization or profession.

    Body

    The major differences between code of ethics and code of conduct are described in the given below points:

    • Code of Ethics is an aspirational document, issued by the board of directors containing core ethical values, principles, and ideals of the organization.
      • Code of Conduct is a directional document containing specific practices and behavior, that are followed or restricted under the organization.
    • Code of Conduct is originated from the code of ethics, and it converts the rules into specific guidelines, that must be followed by the members of the organization.
      • Therefore, the latter concept is wider than the former.
    • Code of Ethics regulates the judgment of the organization while a code of conduct regulates the actions.
      • Code of Ethics focuses on values or principles. On the other hand, the Code of Conduct is focused on compliance and rules.
    • Code of Ethics is publicly available, i.e. anyone can access it. Conversely, the Code of Conduct is addressed to employees only.

    Conclusion

    The difference between the two concepts can be concluded in the words of Jeremy Bentham, who states that “a general law or rule that guides behavior or decisions,” whereas values articulate“an aspiration of an ideal moral state.”

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