A Descriptive Analysis of Ethics Codes, CSR, and Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking
International Journal of Corporate Governance, 5(3/4): 156-177, 2014
40 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2015
Date Written: 2014
Around the world, in the accounting and business fields, there is no issue bigger than ethics. Most major multinational companies have adopted formal policies on ethics. Businesses are expected to do what is right in all their activities, including financial reporting, taking care of the environment, treatment of employees, and dealings with customers. Such matters fall under the umbrella of corporate governance and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Providing quality goods and services is critical to success, but businesses are also expected to contribute to the betterment of society in general. For example, a number of major corporations are working together to help end modern-day slavery, also called human trafficking. The aims of this paper are as follows: to review the relevant literature on ethics and CSR, to provide a descriptive analysis of ethics codes of the Fortune 100 corporations, and to review corporate efforts to combat human trafficking. Regarding corporate ethics codes, findings show that most are disclosed in the Corporate Governance Section of corporate websites. Many corporations are very actively engaged in corporate social responsibility. A number of corporations have joined forces to combat human trafficking. These findings are meaningful to business practitioners and academic researchers, and particularly accounting professionals and business managers as they do their part to advance the highest standards of ethics and CSR in their organizations.
Keywords: corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, CSR, ethics codes, human trafficking
JEL Classification: I3, J18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation