Perceptions towards Codes of Behaviour: A Study of CAOs, CFOs and Other Employees in Bahrain
The objective of this study is to investigate the factors that affect Chief Accounting Officers (CAOs), Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and other employees’ perception of codes of behavior in their organizations in the Kingdom of Bahrain and whether an ethical work environment is influenced by factors such as the establishment of a code of behavior, corporate ethics committee, and/or policy empowerment. The paper is interpretive in nature for which data is collected using survey questionnaires. The findings validate components of an effective code of behavior similar to those identified in the literature which include: implementation of codes of behavior, checking on compliance by internal audit committees, achievement of their goals, follow-up on complaints and confidential channels for reporting ethics violations. Also, results show that the organizations under study generally comply with the values in their codes of behavior. However, the results indicate that the ethical work environment as it currently exists in the Kingdom of Bahrain lacks three aspects. First, setting of a code of behavior seems to be a mixed responsibility between legal departments and outside councils, with minimal participation from the employees. Second, the responsibility to check ethics complaints does not necessarily rest with the ethics committee. Third, lack of a robust mechanism that increases accountants’ and financiers’ awareness of the importance of COE.
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