if ethics are not mentioned in the guiding principles
…of a company, is it easier for one or more of the employees to rationalize unethical or even illegal behavior? When the executive management has a pattern of ethical, legal behavior I theorize the mission, or the vision, or the road map–something visible–will verbalize ethics and legality as a cornerstone of the business.
Of course, the corollary might be those who talk do not know, and those who know do not talk. Restated, if the company trumpets its ethics and legal compliance, what are they hiding?
In part, this becomes subjective analysis. That part leads me to assert that ethics and legality should at least get a byline in the company code of conduct.
This might be fodder for dissertation at some future date.