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Why does WorldatWork have a Web page dedicated to ethics in the profession? We believe it is incumbent upon WorldatWork, as the professional gathering place for total rewards practitioners, to facilitate a dialogue about ethics and ethical behavior. Like all great professional associations, WorldatWork wants to promote ethical behavior and decision-making in the total rewards profession through research, education and member communications.

The WorldatWork Ethics Initiative

At the request of members, WorldatWork assembled a group of senior level practitioners, consultants and academics in the Fall of 2001 for a one-day discussion of ethics in the profession. The result of the day was a rejuvenation of the WorldatWork Ethics Initiative. Because total rewards professionals routinely encounter ethical dilemmas in their work to determine how people are paid and rewarded for the work they do, WorldatWork is striving through the Initiative to:

  • Raise awareness of ethics and ethical standards in the profession
  • Focus on education (not enforcement), and teach HR professionals how to think and behave ethically
  • Provide open forums for dialogue and networking that share ethical dilemmas and potential resolutions
  • Integrate ethics into certification courses and other resources, where possible
  • Carefully maintain global and cultural sensitivity
  • Create tools that focus on case studies and best practices to help practitioners proactively avoid ethical dilemmas and guide them through sound ethical decision-making, if necessary.

Below are a variety of resources and tools provided to you in support of the WorldatWork Ethics Initiative.

WorldatWork Resources

WorldatWork Standards of Professional Practice
Ethics in Our Profession
White Paper
Focus on Ethics
workspan magazine column showing ethical dilemmas with advice from two high-level professionals

Fear of Backlash for Reporting Misconduct Is a Sign of an Ethically Challenged Workplace, Report Finds
Newsline, Aug. 4,2010

Trust and Ethics in the Workplace Battered by the Recession
Newsline, July 27, 2010

Antitrust Laws and the Employee Compensation Information
workspan, Feb 1, 2010

6 Steps to Creating an Ethical Culture
Allegiance, 2008

How to Create an Ethical Organisational Culture
International Survey Research, 2005
Predicting and Preventing Unethical Behavior: Fixing Problems Before They Happen
International Survey Research, 2005
Survey Finds Strong Relationship Between Work-Life Balance and Ethical Behavior
Newsline, Apr. 16, 2007
U.S. Workers Prefer Ethical Company to Higher Pay
Newsline, Dec. 29, 2006
Actions Contributing Most to Ethical Behavior and Compliance Identified
Newsline, Dec. 18, 2006
Unrealistic Business Objectives Lead to Unethical Corporate Behavior
Newsline, Jan. 18, 2006
The ROI of an Effective Ethics Program
workspan, October 2003
Rewarding Ethical Behavior
workspan, July 2005
A Clear Path to Organizational Ethics
The Alliance, 2004
Study: Corporate America's Ethical Environment is Improving
Newsline, March 23, 2006
Study: Most Organizations Maintain Healthy Ethical Climate
Newsline, May 24, 2006


Other Resources

Ethics Resource Center
International Business Ethics Institute
Business Ethics Magazine
The Business Ethics Resource Guide
Business Ethics Forum
Complete Guide to Ethics Management: An Ethics Toolkit for Managers
  • What is Business Ethics?
  • 10 Myths About Business Ethics
  • 10 Benefits of Managing Ethics in the Workplace
  • One Description of a Highly Ethical Organization
  • Ethics Management Programs: An Overview
  • 8 Guidelines for Managing Ethics in the Workplace
  • 6 Key Roles and Responsibilities in Ethics Management
  • Ethics Tools: Codes of Ethics
  • Ethics Tools: Codes of Conduct
  • Ethics Tools: Policies and Procedures
  • Ethics Tools: Resolving Ethical Dilemmas (with Real-to-Life Examples)
  • Ethics Tools: Training
  • Related Links in the Free Management Library
What's Workplace Ethics?
Cornelius von Baeyer
Creating a Code of Ethics for Your Organization
Chris MacDonald, Ph.D.
HR is Poised to Promote Corporate Values
Sample Codes of Ethics
Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions at IIT  

Contribute – Submit your Ethics Policy and/or Code of Ethics to the WorldatWork online Library.

Are You Facing an Ethical Dilemma?
Do you need some advice about how to handle an ethical dilemma in your workplace? All submitted dilemmas will be anonymously attributed, along with advice from two high-level professionals who are members of WorldatWork, and published in the Focus on Ethics column in a future issue of workspan magazine. E-mail your dilemma to ethics@worldatwork.org.

Ethics & Total Rewards: The WorldatWork Speakers Bureau
Did you know that WorldatWork has a Speakers Bureau with thought-provoking and interactive presentations on ethics, the total rewards model, and other topics? Presentations are delivered by WorldatWork staff, faculty or other prominent professionals in the field. If you need an engaging speaker for an upcoming meeting or conference, please send your request to Marcia Rhodes at mrhodes@worldatwork.org