Ethical code of conduct that should be followed in an organization

Ethical code of conduct that should be followed in an organization


Introduction. 3

Code of Conduct 4

Discrimination. 4

Exploitation. 5

Corruption. 6

Dishonest and fraudulent behavior 6

Whistle-blower protection. 7

1.    Enforcement 8

Conclusion. 9

References. 10


This particular report will identify the ethical code of conduct that should be followed in an organization. In addition to this the report will look into, the code of conduct that is willingly accepted by the people in a workplace and also the code of conduct that is not accepted by the people in different workplaces. This report will deeply analyze all the codes of conduct that are undertaken in the Westpac bank.



















Code of Conduct

Code of conduct helps to identify the rules, vision, ethically ruled principles, and the values according to which an organization is governed (Hess and Cottrell Jr 2016). It is observed that in organizations where the code of conduct is already in place, the employees are easily able to understand the task that has to be completed by them and at the same time they are aware of the standards that are to be met by them. However, the code of conduct is not only confined to the official premises. The code of conduct remains active if the individual is working a field job or if the employee is on a business trip. The same is the case is with the banking sector, it has been identified that the code of conduct plays a significant role in the overall operations of the banking system throughout the world. The main reason why the code of conduct plays such a big part in the banking industry is because of money as these paper currencies can put anyone into an ethical dilemma (Kennedy and Anderson 2017). As stated by the Westpac CEO, the code of conduct is just the extended part of any organization or an individual’s core values, which help the individual to keep on working in a positive direction without breaking any rules and regulations that are set by the government or the organization.



Discrimination has been defined as an act where one individual looks down on other individuals just because he/she feels that the other individual is inferior to them. In simpler words, discrimination refers to an act where one individual passes judgment on another individual just because the other individual has a different character than the rest of the population (Vickers 2016). It is possible that the individual might be of a different cast, race, sex, origin, or might possess some other unique quality that separates the individual from the rest of the crowd. For example, if an individual is working in an organization and unfortunately he is handicapped. At the time of appraisal, if the individual is not being treated in the same way as the rest of the employees, it proves that the manager is not following the anti-discrimination laws that have been set up by the local government.

  • If an individual witnesses their superior harassing or discriminating against an individual anywhere, the employee can report his superiors to the authority.
  • All the staff members should be motivated to strictly adhere to the anti-discrimination laws that are set by the government.
  • Every individual working with the organization should not entertain an act of discrimination.



Exploitation refers to a scenario when an individual tries to manipulate someone so that they can reap all the benefits of the work done by the individual. In simpler terms, exploitation refers to an act where one individual tries to take advantage of the hard work and the effort put in by another individual. If an individual is asked to perform a task and in return, he is not provided with any sort of remuneration, it is said that the individual has been exploited (Green Coleman 2016). For instance, a new intern has joined an organization, he is asked to write letters and e-mails to the stakeholders of the organization, however, this particular work is being done after office hours and at the same time, the new intern is not being paid for his efforts and hard work. Even if the new intern is doing all the work because he respects his superior, still he is being exploited.

  • It should be strictly addressed in the rule book, if any individual keeps on asking for favors daily then the disciplinary actions might be taken against the individual.
  • Every individual working in the organization should be provided a right to complain if he/she feels that people around them are using the individuals for their personal use.
  • Employees of the Westpac banks have the right to take leaves if they are sick or are stuck in an emergency.
  • Westpac banks employee should be punished if they are seen exploiting people who are either lower in position, or the people who are younger or older than them.








Corruption is commonly recognized as a severe economic, political, and moral issue representing a cost for future development. Rose-Ackerman and Palifka (2016) mentioned that corruption prefers an environment of deception and concealment in which the "wall of silence" prevents respective authorities to take action against criminal behavior. It is not generally known that terms like unfunctional payments or creative thinking are used to refer to bribery and as Banerjee (2016) stated, such falsifying linguistic usage highlights the difficulty in treating corruption from a moral perspective. On the other hand, it should be noted that such behavior bears significant consequences for workers. It creates the classical moral dilemma of gaining a contract by bribery that can be advantageous for the entire company but, on the other hand, encourages behavior which is of dubious legality and bears legal obligation. The following cases point out the key issue with corruption.

  • A businessman who gives a bribe to a government worker to obtain a license for manufacturing will ultimately endanger public welfare.
  • Criminal decision-makers get a significant advantage over honorable competitors. The individual giving the bribe will win even though the offer is not according to the lowest possible price.


Code of ethics for Westpac Bank

This includes the things organizational members are allowed to engage in and the ones they are not permitted to do.

  • No organizational member of Westpac shall engage in corrupt practices or bribery in any form, whether indirect or direct.
  • No organizational member of Westpac shall engage in corrupt practices or bribery with a private party or public official. This includes close family or connected person, and;
  • No organizational member of Westpac shall engage in facilitation payment.

4.Dishonest and fraudulent behavior

The moral foundation theory states that at least five basic moral preferences cannot be orders, culture, individuals, and groups assign different levels of priority to them. Individuals facing ethical dilemmas not only care about justice, in contrast with cheating and dishonesty, but also about respect for authority, group loyalty, and purity. An instance of conflict among moral preferences is deception or dishonest behavior which is used to benefit others or save others from harm (Jaakson et al. 2017). Such as using lies to avoid undermining a colleague or to praise a poor artwork of a child.  Simply put, fraudulent behavior is only regarded as negative only in case it is benefiting the culprit or is self-serving. If deception and lies serve others, many consider it as moral virtues. Similarly, people are willing are cheat and deceive others if they believe that they are benefiting a disadvantaged party. However, in an organizational environment, it is not always clear what is the "honest" choice. Dishonest behavior in the workplace range from lies, such as a sales manager lying about the total number of clients, to theft and embezzlement of organizational funds.

Code of ethics for Westpac Bank

  • All organizational members of Westpac shall participate in the identification of fraudulency and unfaithfulness at the workplace.
  • Existing staff members shall educate recruits regarding dealing with dishonest behavior.
  • Regular audits need to be conducted to secure data.
  • The severe penalty is applicable to staff members found to be engaging in dishonest and fraudulent behavior.

5.Whistle-blower protection

Whistle-blowers are commonly regarded as traitors of the group and disloyal members of the organization who cannot be trusted. Park et al. (2018) mentioned that whistle-blowers face severe consequences and in most cases, they get fired under duress. At the same time, they are the key source of dishonest and illegal accusations in corporate practice which entails their need in the current business environment. Considering that whistleblowing is a matter of personal choice, the main component which determines whether an individual will whistle on wrongdoing is whether he or she perceives the organizational policies promote moral autonomy and individual responsibility. Moral agency is vital to determine moral behavior and it further enables the evaluation of the behavior. The key characteristic of moral agency is perceived in the context of the will and ability of a person. Thus, autonomy plays an important role in the formation of moral responsibility and obligation.  For instance, Andrew a worker in Retail Company noticed senior colleagues incorrectly recording stocks. He had adequate reasons to believe that they were selling items for personal profits. Andrew contacted the union for advice and alerted the company regarding the same.

Westpac needs to safeguard and protect whistle-blowers to ensure that employees will be not be discouraged to raise their voice against unethical practices. The bank can implement the following policies.

  • Any member of the company will not be held civilly or criminally liable for disclosure of trade secret for reporting a suspected violation of low
  • Whistleblowers are liable to file a complain in case he or she is hurt by their action.
  • No detrimental action will be taken against the whistleblower despite the nature of the misconduct.
  1. Enforcement

Enforcement is one such activity that is applicable in almost all the organizations that are operating in the land of Australia. In simpler terms, enforcement refers to a law that does not allow individuals who are not able to perform in a particular manner, might have to face the enforcement law (Akerlof 2016). For instance, if a manager observes that an individual is underperforming significantly, that is he is not able to cope up with the pressure or act in a way that breaks the rules and regulation of the organization, the employees will be given a warning a month prior so that the individual can start finding work in different organization. This will help the individual to find a job for himself.

  • The organization needs to frame its code of conduct in such a manner that there is no attempt to break the rules.
  • The organization should also deduce the salaries of the individual if they are not willing or are not able to follow the rules and regulations of the organization.
  • Enforcement laws should apply to all the strata of the organization, that is the top management should also face the same consequences if they ever try to break the laws of the organization.







In this particular report, various forms of code of conduct were discussed that can be easily observed in organizations operating throughout the World. In the report, it was discovered that there are multiple forms of code of conduct that are not followed properly throughout the organizations, whether it be the banking sector, IT sector, or any other sector. If activities like corruption, exploitation, discrimination, enforcement dishonest, and fraud behavior keep on happening in the workplace, it will become very hard for organizations to functions smoothly and effectively. However, the anti-dote for these particular viruses was also demonstrated in this particular report. The above-provided inconveniences can be easily be overcome if the people within the organization are ready to make laws that are more strict and had to adhere all the time and in all situations. With the help of the authority, these laws will become formidable and would help the employers to keep their employees in check. Also, the senior management has to adhere to the rules and guidelines that are proposed and in the coming years will be a part of the policies of the organization.













Akerlof, R., 2016. Anger and enforcement. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization126, pp.110-124.

Banerjee, R., 2016. On the interpretation of bribery in a laboratory corruption game: moral frames and social norms. Experimental Economics19(1), pp.240-267.

Green Coleman, L., 2016. Rendered Invisible: African American Low-Wage Workers and the Workplace Exploitation Paradigm. Howard LJ60, p.61.

Hess, M.F. and Cottrell Jr, J.H., 2016. Fraud risk management: A small business perspective. Business Horizons59(1), pp.13-18.

Jaakson, K., Vadi, M., Baumane-Vitolina, I. and Sumilo, E., 2017. Virtue in small business in small places: Organisational factors associated with employee dishonest behaviour in the retail sector. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services34, pp.168-176

Kennedy, J.A. and Anderson, C., 2017. Hierarchical rank and principled dissent: How holding higher rank suppresses objection to unethical practices. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes139, pp.30-49.

Park, H., Vandekerckhove, W., Lee, J. and Jeong, J., 2018. Laddered motivations of external whistleblowers: The truth about attributes, consequences, and values. Journal of Business Ethics, pp.1-14.

Rose-Ackerman, S. and Palifka, B.J., 2016. Corruption and government: Causes, consequences, and reform. Cambridge university press.

Vickers, L., 2016. Religious freedom, religious discrimination and the workplace. Bloomsbury Publishing.


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