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Stakeholders : corporate governance, principles and codes of conduct
This study investigates compliance with the ASX Corporate Governance Councils Principles of Good Corporate Governance and Best Practice Recommendations’ Principle 10 in relation to stakeholder obligations included in ethical codes. Previous studies show Australian corporations that adopted codes of conduct primarily used them to protect their companies. However as these codes reflect a corporation’s obligations at the time of adoption, they tend to evolve over time along with the prevailing ideology on social responsibility. This exploratory research highlights an increase in code adoption and public accessibility to corporate ethical codes since the introduction of ASX corporate governance principles. However establishment and disclosure of a code of conduct in compliance with ASX listing rules, does not mean the codes of conduct are compliant with the recommendations in the best practice guideline. For example a code of conduct which is required to address stakeholder obligations may not even acknowledge these stakeholders exist.