“Professional” codes of ethics: A New Zealand study

Authors: Glen Oliver, Kate Kearins, and Peter Mcghee

Abstract: Conceptualisations of professions and definitions of codes of ethics are reviewed as a basis for the examination of three New Zealand “professional” bodies’ codes of ethics. The latter are content analysed according to Cressey and Moore’s (1983) typology comprising a focus on various aspects of policy, authority and compliance evident within the codes. A number of differences are noted between the three codes, including their areas of focus, length, detail, sanctions and overall utility of the codes in guiding behaviour. The adapted typology and results provide a sound basis for other “professions” to benchmark their own codes of ethics against three codes of distinctly different standards. The provision of an appropriate code of ethics is shown to be an important dimension of professionalism.