Supporting organizational ethics

In today's world, ethics occupies a prominent place among our systems for social regulation, next to law, work contracts, codes of professional conduct and administrative regulations. An increasing number of organizations are turning to codes of ethics and values statements, ethical committees, ethics counsellors, etc. We are witnessing a real institutionalization of ethics.

The Équipe de recherche sur les phénomènes d'institutionnalisation et d'intervention en éthique (Research Team for Institutionalization and Intervention in Ethics), directed by Luc Bégin, is exploring the appearance of these phenomena in organizations, both in private companies and in public administration. The team studied an initiative by the Quebec section of the Ethics Practitioners' Association of Canada aimed at better understanding the ethics objective set by 107 private and public sector and health and social services organizations.

The researchers reviewed these organizations, enumerating and examining the main organizational initiatives put in place over the past three years. This work has also provided an analysis of the profile and responsibilities of the individuals within these organizations who have the job of ensuring the introduction of various initiatives aimed at encouraging and supporting organizational ethics. They were able to distinguish certain characteristics specific to each sector. Result: this study has led to better-targeted training of the people in charge of ethical issues in these organizations.

The research team also organized a conference for academics, practitioners and important public office holders with the theme "Faire des lois sur l'éthique?" ("Legislating ethics?"), during which a number of questions pertaining to legislation on ethical issues were discussed. The conference proceedings are due to be published in winter 2011.


Équipe de recherche sur les phénomènes d'institutionnalisation et d'intervention en éthique


Luc Bégin, Université Laval

Regular members

  • Anne Chartier, Université Laval
  • André Lacroix, Université de Sherbrooke
  • Lyse Langlois, Université Laval
  • Bruno Leclerc, Université du Québec à Rimouski
  • Florence Piron, Université Laval
  • Dany Rondeau, Université du Québec à Rimouski