Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 86, Issue 2, pp 211–225 | Cite as

“I don’t Care that People don’t Like What I Do” – Business Codes Viewed as Invisible or Visible Restrictions

  • Peter Norberg


Research about codes of corporate ethics has hitherto taken a hypothetical, correct meaning of codes for granted. The article problematises the dichotomous categories intrinsic and subjective meanings of codes. I address the question if professionals in finance accept codes of business. The particular mentality of stockbrokers and traders constructs the way they judge restrictions such as company codes of ethics. While neglecting dimensions of ethics beyond known rules, brokers and traders distrust good ethics as a possible end in itself. Many professionals in the financial market perceive efforts to integrate ethical reasoning in work as only means for maximising business opportunities.


business codes legitimacy mentality moral stress stockbrokers overman 


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I would like to thank the Swedish Research Council that funded the research project on which this article is based. I also thank the anonymous referees and the Editor-in-charge for many useful suggestions.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management and OrganizationStockholm School of EconomicsStockholmSweden

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