ETHICS AND GLOBALIZATION
Ethics are closely connected to the sense of values and patterns of behavior of each individual. The sense of values of each public official reflects history, culture, the current social climate and their immediate living environment. Since each country has a different history, culture and environment surrounding the public sector, people are likely to believe that each individual has a different sense of values and each country differs in its standards of ethics and rules associated with these. In reality, however, regulations in this respect are surprisingly similar and in recent years, there is a growing tendency for issues regarding ethics to be handled on a global basis.
1 Similarities between Codes of Ethics
If you compare different government's codes of ethics, you will notice just how similar they actually are. Corruption, such as bribery taking, is universally prohibited. Prohibitions on leaking confidential information or putting personal interests before the execution of one's duty as a public employee and the strict observance of laws, regulations and orders of supervisors are stipulated in the codes of ethics of every country.
The reason why these codes of ethics are so similar is that the public service, in its pursuit of public interest, fairness and neutrality requires a certain level of discipline from public officials in spite of the different social environments of each country.
2 Globalization of Ethics
In recent years, a growing number of private enterprises have extended their field of business far beyond the borders of their country of origin. Most of these companies employ a standard code of discipline irrespective of where they conduct business. For enterprises such as these, bribery and corruption among government employees is considered bad for the economy and they have come to demand that governments everywhere clean up their act. They insist that each government employ similar regulations so that business may be conducted more effectively on an international basis.
Governments, the world over, have no choice but to answer to the demands of these companies. If they opt otherwise, business expansion in their country may draw to a standstill and the government, itself, will lose its international credibility. Governments everywhere must take serious measures to stamp out corruption and the leaking of business secrets so that they meet with global standards which are particularly strict.
Although similarities exist in their codes of ethics, the reality in each country is very much different. How far these codes of ethics are actually observed vary from country to country with similar rules. The greater the discrepancy between that which is stipulated in the regulations and the reality of what is allowed to take place, the more inferior the integrity of the government administration concerned. Governments like this must correct this discrepancy if they are to gain public confidence and win credibility with the rest of the world.