I’ve noticed some confusion about the roles that ethics and compliance play in organizations. This confusion arises, in part, from the way these two fields are identified. Some companies have only a compliance department. Others have a compliance and ethics (or ethics and compliance) department. Some companies have a Chief Ethics Officer separate from compliance.
To get some clarity on these crucial roles, I asked seven leaders who are involved in both ethics and compliance to explain the similarities and differences as they saw them. I’ll present their views, offer my own analysis and then consider what this means for your career and your organization.
What Is Compliance?
There was close to a consensus when it came to defining compliance.
For Cindy Morrison, Director of Compliance for Post Holdings, Inc., “Compliance is the act of conforming to company policies and procedures as required by laws and regulations.”
“Compliance is table stakes. It involves following the laws and rules that apply to your company’s business,” says Carol Tate, Director, Ethics and Legal Compliance for the Intel Corporation.