Formal and informal dimensions of compliance effectiveness

Melanie de Waal, Janka Stoker, Floortje Rink

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“Ethics is everyone’s responsibility”, so many have said. We might agree – even wholeheartedly if it were not that the conversation all too often ends there. Whereas each individual should be responsible for their own actions and behaviour, the setting of the threshold of the ethical benchmark that is
applicable or sought after within an organization, is not, and cannot be, the responsibility of each individual. Therein lies chaos and conflict. In this article, three learned colleagues of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands reflect on the primary elements of establishing the framework for a commonly accepted and understood behavioural standard, and how compliance officers might be at their most effective in influencing the conduct of employees. Certain institutions improve compliance effectiveness through enhancing procedural compliance, others by stimulating a strong and enduring sense of values and purpose, yet others by attempting to combine the two. Which alternative is right for your organization?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-27
Number of pages13
JournalBusiness Compliance
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 5-Apr-2015


  • Compliance
  • Power
  • Effectiveness
  • Ethical behavior

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