Code of Conduct

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A Code of Conduct ( English . Code of Conduct ) is a collection of behaviors that can be applied in a variety of settings and contexts, depending on the situation or should. Similar concepts can be found in the code of honor or the moral code .

In contrast to a regulation, the target group is not necessarily bound by compliance with the code of conduct - hence the term voluntary self-regulation . Rather, a code of conduct is a self-commitment to follow certain behavior patterns or to refrain from them and to ensure that nobody gains an advantage or disadvantage others by circumventing these patterns.

A code of conduct is also recognized as part of a compliance management system . In this context, it can be implemented in a binding manner for the employees of a company or members of an organization. It serves as a communication and control instrument within the compliance management system.

There are also codes of conduct aimed at special risks in order to prevent bribery in administration and business, or codes of conduct that have evolved culturally, which deal with each other or general behavior in certain regions, states or even religious contexts in tacit agreement or in written form how to regulate ceremonies .

In contrast to the perpetual specification of a behavior of a is procedure , or a process model (engl. Procedure model ) is a framework , a sequence of action sequences for a limited time, for example in connection with a change process (engl. Change management purports).


Examples of a code of conduct

Examples from a code of conduct

From the press

  • No reports or reports about completed suicides
  • No reports to the detriment of children of prominent persons as long as they have not reached the status of majority.
  • No reports from the private life of political persons without their consent (Codex in Germany)

From sport and animal welfare

From the insurance industry

From the film industry and media

  • Failure to broadcast certain contributions / films on certain dates or broadcast times
  • No commercial breaks for films with very sensitive topics (e.g. Schindler's list )

From software development

  • Developers of open source software are committed to a uniform code of conduct to ensure that each individual follows certain rules regarding the responsibility and reliability of his work. In the world of open source software development, this is especially necessary because most developers have never seen or will see each other in their lives.

From international industrial companies

Examples of codes of conduct (unless the legislature specifies this or it is not regulated by contracts):

See also


  • Bartosz Makowicz : Code of Conduct - methodology of effective design and implementation . In: Compliance Advisor . No. 5 . Deutscher Fachverlag, 2018, p. 139 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Code of conduct  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations