Miranda D, Smolovic-Jones O & Schaefer A (2016) Honouring the code? Exploring the ambiguities and antagonisms of ethical identities. BAM – British Academy of Management conference, Newcastle University, 06.09.2016-08.09.2016.
Abstract 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.