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Corporate Social Responsibility: The Limits and Dangers with Corporate Codes of Conduct

Corporate Social Responsibility: The Limits and Dangers with Corporate Codes of Conduct

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The headline-grabbing scandals in late 1990s pressured corporations to improve their Corporate Social Responsibility policies and practices, leading to the booming interest and creation of corporate codes of conduct. Almost unheard of two decades ago, corporate codes of conduct are commonplace today. A corporation without a code of conduct has become the exception rather than the rule. Moreover, as codes are becoming a global trend, corporations are pressured by their stakeholders not only to think ethically by writing codes, but also to act ethically by implementing them. It is no longer important what corporations say they will do, but rather how and when they will do it. However, codes of conduct have their limits and dangers. Interviews with the Global Compact, Clean Clothes Campaign, UNICEF, and an ethics professor were conducted to gather information about the limits and dangers of such codes. This work has been written not solely for corporations, but also for governments, labour organizations, students, customers, and employees. Responsibility concerns each and every one of us. Today, everyone can act given that responsibility has no specific place.