Strategic alignment and implementation of codes of conducts in organisations
Using the example of the automotive industry, this paper explores with a view to the many scandals in this particular branch (such as the Dieselgate scandal) how the values declared in the codes of conduct in this industry can be practiced in a more sustainable manner in daily business. This is because the branch has been not short on declared values, or the many strategic and operative guidelines to follow. A solution to this challenge thus likely only can be expected from a systemic approach. Based on the assumption that the level of appeal of a code is a vital but by no means sufficient prerequisite for internalisation of values, firstly indicators have been developed to assess the appeal of a code of conduct, such as the topicality of scope, comprehensiveness, relevance, comprehensibility of language and content, formal design and didactic transformation. Using these criteria, 18 codes of conduct have been analysed of companies from the automotive industry and the devised pool of criteria condensed to the key attributes that define the measure of appeal of a code. In the follow-up step, experts have been approached to give their opinions on how the values declared in the codes of conduct can be implemented in a more sustainable manner in strategic and operative alignment of corporate and management culture. This is because alongside a topical and didactically structured code of conduct, the likelihood of internalising values is higher where also the corporate organisational structure and process flows as well are adjusted for compatibility with such norms. With the aim to make the codes more effective, a total of 10 main scales and 62 criteria have been determined. Three of the scales deal with the didactic and content design of the codes, five with the organisational structure, corporate processes and controlling and two with qualifications and personal growth. The values of the variables on the scales are comprised into a summary value that represents the development level of a corporate value culture. The summary value and profiles can be used as benchmarking references and a basis for self-evaluation as well as a dynamic value management. The scales aid successful internalisation and implementation of the value culture as part of corporate culture.
corporate social responsibility, code of conduct, ISO 26000 standard, value management, corporate culture, value controlling
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