Ethics codes and professionals' tolerance of societal diversity

Sean Valentine, Gary Fleischman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Companies often develop codes prescribing an ethical organizational environment. However, the ability of ethics codes to increase individuals' tolerance of diversity is not fully considered in the ethics literature. This relationship was explored using a sample of 143 business and legal professionals. After accounting for the impact of several covariates, results indicated that professionals employed in organizations that had an ethics code were more tolerant of societal diversity than were professionals working in organizations that did not have an ethics code. The findings also showed that a traditional orientation toward gender roles was also related to the acceptance of diversity. These findings imply that companies to some degree define societal norms, possibly through training programs that make employees aware of their differences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-312
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002


  • Code of ethics
  • Diversity
  • Social capital


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