Organizational Code of Ethics


The research study was qualitative I nature although there were also elements of quantizing that were involved in the research project. The research mainly involved collecting information from the organization that I work regarding the connection between the code of ethics that the supervisors and managers used and the motivation level or morale in various departments of the organization. Examining how managerial ethics and the employee motivation are related was the main goal of this research project.

What is a code of ethics for an organization

Data Collection

Collection of refers to the methods that were used in gathering the required information for the study. This research project utilized a number of varied methods in collecting data about the topic of study. Questionnaires were very important in collecting information from the employees and the mangers as well as other supervisors in the organization. Questionnaires were prepared and administered to the employees to express their ideas on the degree of motivation they felt within them and also the percentage to which they though the managers and supervisors of the organization followed the code of ethics of the organization. The questionnaires also had questions that were meant to find out how the employees would work in situation where the managerial ethics are followed and how they are likely to work in other situation where ethics are not followed by the management. Questionnaires were used because of the convenience that many people find when conveying messages anonymously. Even those employees who were unable to present their issues in the interviews found the questionnaires to be better ways of recording their responses.

Organizational philosophy

The questions of the questionnaires included the following:

1.)To what degree do you think the supervisor in you upholds the ethics of the organization?

a)Less than 10%



d)More than 60%

2.)What percentage can you give to your motivation and morale to do work in your department?

a)Less than 10%



d)More than 60%

3.)Does the manager/supervisor of your department motivate you as an employee?

4.)If yes, what is the reason behind your motivation and morale?

5.)If no, what is the reason behind you being demoralized?

6.)To what extend do you think your morale as an employee depends on the managerial ethics being followed or not in your organization?

a)10 to 40% dependent

b)41 to 60% dependent

c)61 to 80% dependent

d)More than 80% dependent.

Interviews were also used in collecting data in the research project. Interviews were conducted between the researcher and the fellow employees to find out how the ethical behaviour of their bosses affected their productivity and motivation to work in the organization. The interviews were held confidentially where employees were invited one by one to share their ideas and respond to the questions of the researcher. There were also interviews between the researcher and some of the mangers as well as the supervisors of the organization to find out whether they were aware of the impact of their behaviour on the morale and motivation of their workers. Interviews were very crucial in filling the gaps that the use of questionnaires presents (Patton, 1990) and also ensuring that the bias in the responses collected through questionnaires is eliminated. The responses of the interview were recorded through tape recording and also taking notes during the private conversational interviews between the respondents and the researcher.

Apart from questionnaires and the interviews, the research project also utilized observation in the collection of data. Observation involved direct observation using eyes to see things as they exist or happen. Direct observation of the behaviour and performance of various employees in various departments was done and recorded on paper and also through video recording. The behaviour of the supervisors and managers was also observed and recorded on video and on paper. This observation was done in a manner that none of the people who were being observed knew that they were being observed. This was crucial in making sure that the actual way of working and behaviour for both the managers/supervisors and the employees were captured.

As seen above, the recording of the data collected was done through tape recording in the case of interviews, note taking in interviews and direct observation and video recording where in the case of the observation of the behaviour of the employees and the managers. The video recording was also used to record the actions of various heads of departments so as to gather information for the analysis of the responses of the employees from those departments and try to develop the links that exist between the ethical issues in an organization and the motivation and morale among the employees.

Employees ethics

Data Analysis and Discussion

The data collected through the above methods were analyzed through looking at the responses of the respondents and viewing the videos recorded as well as reviewing the notes taken during data collection. The questionnaires that were incomplete were resubmitted back to the respondents to fill the omitted parts at their own will. Some of the blanks were filled by the researcher by trying to relate the available responses to get the most appropriate response that would likely be given by the respondents. However, such cases were very few.

From the data collected, the employees who recorded a more than 60% motivation in their work came from departments whose heads strongly upheld the codes of ethics and conduct of the organization. On the other hand, the heads of the departments and the supervisors who were less concerned with the managerial ethics of the organization had many of the employees from their departments recording 10-40% motivation and less. This was a clear indication that the employees feel more motivated to work if their managers and supervisors follow the code of conduct and ethics in the organization.

Almost all the employees indicated that more than 80% of their morale and motivation at their work place depended on whether the managerial ethics were being followed or not and especially by their supervisors as well as their mangers as shown in the table below. 

A table showing the motivation extent in relation to managerial ethics and the number of respondents

Percentage of Extent to morale depends on managerial ethics of the organization

Number of employees choosing the percentage

10 to 40%


41 to 60%


61 to 80%


More than 80%


This was a clear indication that organizational success will greatly depend on how the organization puts to consideration the ethical issues that affect their employees. Furthermore, confidence in the management and motivation among the employees of the organization were seen to be a result of the strict upholding of the ethics that led to fairness and openness in the departments. The performance of the workers in the departments whose managers and supervisors were not concerned with the ethics governing the code of conduct in the organization was seen as dismal compared to that of those employees in other departments that were keen on following the ethics of the organization. This therefore indicated that the employee zeal to work and morale is highly boosted by the transparency and fairness which is brought about by the strict following of the rules and regulations governing the behaviour of employees and the mangers as well as the supervisors in the organization.

The results of the research also revealed that more than 70% of the employees who were demoralized and demotivated in their work were working under supervisors and managers who did not motivate them at all. More than 50% of those employees that were demoralized said that the reason for their demoralization and low morale in their work came from their supervisors engaging in unethical behaviour with regard to promotions and sexual favourism of certain employees within their departments of work. This was a clear indication that ethical issue were indeed important in determining the morale of the workers in an organization.

Organizational ethics


Following the findings of the research study regarding the managerial and organizational ethics and their impact on the employees’ morale and motivation to perform their duties, I therefore make the following recommendations:

1.)Organizations should always strive to have codes of ethics so as to moderate the behaviour of the supervisors, the managers and the employees. This will ensure that the actions of the mangers and the supervisors towards the employees are justified and this will go a long way in boosting the morale of the workers and improving the overall performance of the organization departments and hence the organization as a whole

2.)Organizational managers and supervisors should always endeavour to motivate their employees to make sure that the morale of those employees working under them is kept high. This will help to ensure that the performance of their workers is high for organizational benefit and wellbeing since the motivation of workers greatly determines the success of the organization.

3.)To discourage mangers from unethical behaviour like engaging in sexual affairs with their employees, strict rules and regulations should be added to the organization codes of conduct. This will ensure that the supervisors and the mangers of organizations remain ethical in their behaviour and actions and therefore lead to confidence among the employees and eventually translate to high motivation among the employees and hence high performance among them.

4.)To ensure that the morale of the workers or employees of any organization remains high, organizations should organize motivational events such as having awards of the best performers in the organization. This will help to motivate the employees in the organization since all the employees will want to perform their duties perfectly so as to get rewarded. The result will be efficiency and effectiveness among the employees of the organization.

5.)The promotion and selection of employees to supervision should be done transparently and be based on the performance of the employees and not the relationship that exists between the employees and the mangers or supervisors. Having such transparency will help in making sure that that all the employees have equal chances to opportunities in the organization and therefore they will up their performance in the organization due to the increased motivation that will result from the feeling of safety and confidence in management.


Gellermann, W., Frankel, M. S., & Ladenson, R. F. (1990). Values and ethics in organization and human systems development: Responding to dilemmas in professional life. Jossey-Bass.

Johnson, C. E. (2007). Ethics in the workplace: Tools and tactics for organizational transformation. Sage.

Merriam, S. B. (1998). Qualitative Research and Case Study Applications in Education. Revised and Expanded from” Case Study Research in Education.”  Jossey-Bass Publishers, 350 Sansome St, San Francisco, CA 94104.

Nicotera, A. M., & Cushman, D. P. (1992). Organizational ethics: A within organization view. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 20(4), 437-462.

Patton, M. Q. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods . SAGE Publications, inc.

Treviño, L. K., Butterfield, K. D., & McCabe, D. L. (1998). The ethical context in organizations: Influences on employee attitudes and behaviors. Business Ethics Quarterly, 8(03), 447-476.

Vardi, Y. (2001). The effects of organizational and ethical climates on misconduct at work. Journal of Business Ethics, 29(4), 325-337.

Walumbwa, F. O., Mayer, D. M., Wang, P., Wang, H., Workman, K., & Christensen, A. L. (2011). Linking ethical leadership to employee performance: The roles of leader–member exchange, self-efficacy, and organizational identification. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 115(2), 204-213.