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Corporate Ethics and Compliance Programs

Organizations develop corporate ethics and compliance programs to manage the ethical and legal conduct of their employees and, hopefully, prevent misconduct before it occurs or becomes a serious threat. Before the 1980s, such programs were largely informal, if they existed at all. But in response to bribery scandals in the U.S. defense industry, companies in that industry created a self-regulatory body called the Defense Industry Initiative, an organization that continues today. Since 1986, the Defense Industry Initiative company representatives have met each year to share best practices in ethics and compliance. As a result, some of the first ethics and compliance programs emerged in the defense industry firms. And some of these firms (e.g., Lockheed Martin) continue to have among the most advanced programs ...

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