A random sample of 146 fortune 500 firms were surveyed in 1996 to determine whether firm size and industry type affect employers' level of involvement and support of ethical and environmental policies and practices. The study found relationships between firm size and ethical and environmental policies and practices. While the majority of firms (90.3%), regardless of size, have a formal written code of ethics, large firms are more likely to employ an ombudsperson to handle ethical concerns and to have a network confidentiality policy. Although most firms (83.5%) have a formal written environmental policy, large firms are more inclined to invest in new ways to reduce the production of various types of waste. Another interesting twist to the study has to do with the relationships found between industry type and ethical and environmental policies and practices. Industries, such as the computers and electronics and scientific and photographics sectors, that are involved with high precision products and industries, such as mining, crude oil, and petroleum refining, that utilize natural resources are more inclined to have a formal written code of ethics and social responsibility. In addition, industries that utilize natural resources are more likely than other industries to have formal written environmental policies and practices.
Journal of Business Ethics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 9, 2004
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