Business and Professional Ethics Journal

Volume 42, Issue 1, Spring 2023

Thomas A. Hemphill
Pages 55-78

A Case for Effective Business Association Membership Codes of Ethics and Conduct

A business association is a collaborative organization founded and funded by businesses or business owners and usually represents companies operating in an industry or across industries. Business associations often institute a code of ethics, code of practice, and/or code of conduct that guide member company policy and behavior. Specifically, the paper will thoroughly define codes of ethics, conduct, and practice; their relationship to each other is delineated and explained; examples of three business associations’ codes of ethics and/or conduct are explored; and the U.S. legal environment—focusing on antitrust considerations that governs their organizational use—evaluated for business association compliance enforcement. Given this exploratory and explanatory research foundation, managerial recommendations are offered in the discussion section to assist business associations, and by extension, their member companies, in effectively utilizing such association governance codes in both association and company planning, policy development, and operational management activities in domestic and global commerce.