After the corporate scandals confidence into the business environment has significantly reduced. The attention on mechanisms to ensure integrity to firm’s activity and to ameliorate the relationship with stakeholder’s increased and firms are now involved into a significant culture and behaviour renovation and looking for new strategies and tools related to corporate sustainability. Into this process Codes of Ethics, that are viewed as a fundamental means of spreading founding values and entrepreneurial principles within companies and among stakeholders, play for sure a primary role. . Researchers have recently begun to develop methodologies to evaluate the intrinsic quality of codes of ethics, but few studies have investigated the antecedents of quality. Given the assumption that the industry in which a company is active affects the quality of its code of ethics, this paper aims to assess whether, and to what extent, the quality of codes of ethics of companies in the financial sector – in particular, banking and insurance companies – is lower than that of companies in the manufacturing sector. For this purpose, the codes of ethics of 150 leading European companies active in the banking, insurance and manufacturing sectors are classified and analyzed using a Tobit regression model. The results provide evidence of the lower quality of codes of ethics among companies active in the banking and insurance sectors. These findings have significant implications for both research and practice.
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