Code of ethics: The power of words

Matej Drašček (, is Director of Finance, LON Bank, Domzale, Slovenia.

The renowned philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote: “The limit of my language is the limit of my world.”[1] The power of words—whether spoken or written—is undeniable. As such, they have a powerful influence on behavior. They can inspire people to go beyond the call of duty or lead them in the opposite direction to unethical behavior. The code of ethics is the best known and oldest document for the promotion of the ethical decision-making process. Professions such as medicine have had a code of conduct for more than 2,000 years. A code of ethics not only sets the rules of behavior in an organization but also articulates and formalizes important shared values of an organization. But how we formulate and write a code of ethics—especially from the grammatical and linguistic point of view—is of crucial significance for the effectiveness of a code of ethics.

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