Communication Ethics and Ethical Culture: A Study of the Ethics Initiative in Denver City GovernmentAn earlier version of this paper was presented at the Seventh Annual National Communication Association's Ethics Conference in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
This article examines the work of the ethics initiative in the City of Denver to see how talk about ethics contributes to an ethical culture. By paying particular attention to the communication in the city's Code of Ethics, ethics training discussion, employee interviews, and formal documents relaying the Board of Ethics' views, we show how ethics emerges within communication. We argue that the emergent quality of ethics is dialogically refined in communication. For practitioners and officials interested in advancing organization-wide ethics training, we urge pursuing dialogical means so that people can negotiate among competing interests to shape future policy and action reflective of their ethical concerns.