BP is a multi-national oil company based out of London, England. Truly an "oil supermajor," BP has more than 115,000 (2006) employees with operations in more than one-hundred countries throughout the world. BP has a corporate slogan that says "beyond petroleum" and such has been the corporation's nature since it adopted the slogan in 2000. They are driven not to simply provide petroleum at a reasonable price, but to go beyond that, researching new forms of energy and providing to customers beyond the automotive motorist. After careful review of its corporate code of conduct, it can be said that this vision not only pertains to BP's product and service, but also to its dedication to maintaining a ethical corporation. They do not only strive to keep themselves on the straight and narrow, but push all of their suppliers, partners, and customers to do the same. They do not only take the high road, they take the highest road.
The concept of a corporate code of conduct is a necessary rule and standard of governance that all corporations should develop and adhere to. The corporate code of conduct (CCC) is something that sets the ethical tone of your place of business. It tells your suppliers, partners, customers, and most importantly, your employees, "This is how we do business." One point made by BP's CEO, Tony Hayward, is that great companies are built on trust. In a society where everyone and everything in the public eye is constantly under scrutiny, it is important to have a positive rapport and reputation with those with whom you interact. This is how trust is developed. You do the right thing enough of the time that people will assume you are doing it all of the time without checking. The way you do this is by making sure your people are trying to do the right thing all of the time.
To not have a CCC is to not give your people the direction they need to do so. Conventional wisdom would say that people know the right thing to do in a given situation. But...
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