Honouring the code? Exploring the ambiguities and antagonisms of ethical identities

Anja Schaefer, Owain Smolovic-Jones, Diana Miranda

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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This is a paper concerned with empirically exploring how employees make sense of their ethical and professional identities within a shifting order of discursive norms. We posit the code of ethics (CoE) as a valuable object of study that holds the potential to illuminate the relationship between employee identity, the ethical, the political and the organizational. We combine contemporary accounts of identity with a notion of an order-of-life in order to explore the ethical tensions and possibilities that occur when specific people are asked to travel between ethical worlds. We explore the relationship between CoEs and identity through an examination of how police officers and members of staff in the Police Service of
Northern Ireland (PSNI) construct the meaning of the organization’s CoE against their own sense of ethical self, as well as against the background of political and organizational change and a history of contested professional and organizational legitimacy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe British Academy of Management Conference (BAM 2016): Thriving in Turbulent Times
Subtitle of host publication6-8 September 2016, Newcastle University, Newcastle, United Kingdom
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBritish Academy of Management
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780954960896
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2016


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