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The Ethics Thermometer: An Audit-tool for Improving the Corporate Moral Reputation

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A responsible person would agree that it is quite common these days to encounter situations that erode one's confidence in corporations (Ethics Resource Center, 1994). There is a surfeit of examples of corporations involved in fraud and corruption, the sale of unsuitable products, the intentional release of misleading information, the reckless emission of pollutants, and the violation of human rights. In such cases, the trustworthiness of an organization and/or those who represent the organization is at stake. A realist will, however, also recognize that trust is often rewarded and that it is usually ingrained in his relationship as, for example, a stockholder, employee, consumer, supplier, or neighbor of a company. There is also a plethora of examples of companies which do fulfill their agreements, sell reliable products, provide correct information to the public, care for the environment, and respect human rights. As long as these practices constitute the rule rather than the exception, they provide the basis for trust.Corporate Reputation Review (1998) 2, 10–15; doi:10.1057/palgrave.crr.1540063

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 1998

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