کدهای موقعیت یابی اخلاقی در وب سایت های شرکت های بین المللی : یک مطالعه شش ساله طولی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|1609||2009||6 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Advances in Accounting, Volume 25, Issue 1, June 2009, Pages 75–80
This research examines the level of international website disclosures of corporate codes of ethics during the period of July 2002 and July 2003, which surrounds the enactment of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act (SOX) in United States. We also gathered similar data from these corporations' websites in April of 2006 through April of 2008 (i.e., three through five years after the effective date of SOX). In April of 2006 (2007 and 2008), 30 (34 and 36) of the 43 corporations listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) had readily available codes. While not required to have their codes on their corporate websites, 14 (18 and 23) of the 49 corporations that were not listed on the NYSE also had readily available codes. Our research also indicates that corporations headquartered in Europe were more likely to have readily available codes of ethics than corporations headquartered in the Pacific region in 2006 and 2007 but not in 2008.
In the wake of the Enron–Arthur Andersen crisis and other financial debacles, an expedient way for management to indicate their openness to external scrutiny would be to make their corporation's code of ethics readily available to all stakeholders on their corporate website. While hundreds of articles in business ethics and accounting journals have examined various aspects of ethics codes, none of these studies empirically examine the issue of internationally-headquartered corporations making these codes readily available to all stakeholders through the worldwide web. This research is an empirical extension of: Schwartz's (2002) research about making codes available to outside stakeholders on corporate websites; Bondy, Matten, and Moon's (2004) research on the location of codes on corporate websites; and, the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) requirement for website disclosure of codes. This research examines the positioning of codes of ethics on their corporate websites to ensure their availability to outside stakeholders during the timeframe surrounding the enactment and implementation of the SOX including their position in April of 2008. Research by Schwartz (2002) and Bondy et al. (2004) suggest that codes of ethics will be as ‘readily available’ to stakeholders on a corporation's website as their annual report (i.e., access to a corporation's code of ethics should not require a dedicated individual). One might question what difference the ease or difficulty in accessing a company's code makes. This attitude suggests that, as long as one follows the letter of the law (i.e., doing the minimum), the spirit of the law doesn't matter, which was what caused the problems with Enron and WorldCom. All publically-traded corporations that are headquartered in the United States would be required to have their code of ethics listed on their websites because of SEC and Stock Exchange requirements. Consequently, we test whether the rate of ‘readily available’ codes varies by exchange reporting requirements for a sample of 92 internationally-headquartered companies from the Global Fortune 500 (Fortune, 2002).1 Forty-three of these corporations (46.7%) are listed on the NYSE and thus are subject to the disclosure requirements of the SOX. However, the other 49 corporations (53.3%) are not subject to these requirements and serve as a control group for the placement of their codes of ethics.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The purpose of this research was to test for the differential use of technology by corporations on different stock exchanges in making their corporate codes of ethics available to outside stakeholders during the timeframe surrounding the enactment and implementation of the SOX. This research is an empirical extension of Schwartz's (2002) suggestion to disclose codes of ethics on corporate websites and Bondy et al.'s (2004) research on the location of codes of ethics on corporate websites. After our first two data gathering points, the SEC announced its requirement for the disclosure of codes of ethics on corporate websites for corporations listed on the NYSE. While this requirement would increase the level of disclosure to 100% of the companies listed on the NYSE, the requirement does not affect our data gathering because of our requirement for codes of ethics to be within two levels of the corporate homepage, which was not specified by the SEC. Consequently, this research demonstrates the evolution and current placement of codes on corporate websites or the fact that codes are as readily available as corporate annual reports for 79.4% of the internationally-headquartered corporations listed on the NYSE. However, the data also indicate that 46.9% of the corporations not listed on the NYSE have made their codes of ethics readily available. It is important to note that these corporations are not required to have a code of ethics let alone have it readily available on their corporate website. The 2006-through-2008 data also indicate that there was a time lag between Sarbanes–Oxley and the stock exchange requirements and the number of corporations with readily available codes. However, this is not to say that there were any violations of Sarbanes–Oxley or the SEC's requirements; the data indicate that it has taken nearly six years (i.e., July 2002 to April 2008) for 79.1 (46.9) of the corporations listed (not listed) on the NYSE to position their codes of ethics in a readily available location on their websites. The growing number of corporations with readily available ethics codes provides support for Bondy et al.'s premise that important corporate information should not be buried in “the depths of their websites” (2004, p. 466). Our data suggest that the second level is becoming a standard for positioning codes of ethics on corporate websites. While the growth in the proportion of readily available codes for internationally-headquartered corporations has been steadily increasing over the 2006-to-2008 timeframe, it should be taken in context with the US data (see Footnote 1). The proportion of international corporations listed on the NYSE with readily available codes (79.1%) still does not match the proportion of readily available codes of corporations headquartered in US (92.8%), which was set in April of 2006. Finally, while we did find significant differences in the readily available rates of codes of ethics between European and Pacific corporations for April of 2006 and 2007, this finding should be taken in the context of the number of firms listed on the NYSE for each region. While each 35 European corporation represents 2.9% of their sample, each of the eight Pacific corporations represents 12.5% of its sample (i.e., a four-fold difference). A limitation of this research is the sample composition, which was made up of 92 of the top 100 internationally-headquartered corporations from the Fortune Global 500. Another limitation is our search process for readily available data to investors, which we defined as being within two levels of the corporation's homepage. Future research should examine the use of technology for making codes of ethics available to outside stakeholders for a broader sample and at various levels within corporations' websites. Future research should also examine the extent to which corporations have, more or less, very similar codes of conduct in the post SOX era.