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Corporate Ethics and Compliance Programs

Corporate ethics and legal compliance programs are formal programs aimed at managing the ethical and legal conduct of a company's employees. Although companies such as J.C. Penney have had codes of conduct since the early 1900s, the history of more complex ethics and legal compliance programs can be traced to the 1980s and the Defense Industry Initiative on Business Conduct and Ethics (DII). The DII is a consortium of U.S.-based defense industry contractors that subscribes to shared principles and standards of business ethics and conduct (see http://www.dii.org). The DII developed out of the U.S. president's Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management that was convened following a number of defense-industry scandals in the early 1980s. The Commission was asked to develop proposals to guide future defense ...

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