TEPAV has completed the Project called "Promotion of Business Ethics and Transparency in SMEs", which is financed by the British Embassy's Prosperity Fund. The closing meeting of the project was held on April 3rd, 2017 in Ankara.
Small to medium-sized business enterprises are usually characterized by informal understandings and shared expectations among the workforce regarding how business is done. Any values and ethical principles are often implicit rather than formally expressed through ethics policies and codes that are familiar in large companies. Throughout the project implementation activities designed to raise awareness on business ethics among SMEs and the importance of trust and integrity in business has been recognized.
During the closing meeting, Yalin Hatipoğlu from Transparency Association addressed the up-to-date situation in Turkey and Brook Horowitz from IBLF Global an international perspective with the participants.
The main discussion topics raised during the meeting were: what business ethics means for SMEs; how to develop, integrate and disseminate a code of ethics at firm level and sectoral level; what are the best practices around the world; what are the findings of the research on business ethics in Turkey; steps to be taken in the field of business ethics and transparency in Turkey.
Rule of Law and Education for Ethical Awareness
During the meeting, the sector representatives who have participated in the study visit to UK shared their experiences with the participants. Two major issues came forward in this major; first, the significance of institutional capacity and legislation in order to enhance business ethics. In other words, embracing of rule of law by all parties came to the forefront as the essential matter. It was underlined that success achieved in business ethics in the UK is based on the institutional capacity; implementation of code of ethics for fighting bribery in business life. In addition, it was emphasized that ethical standards need to be incorporated within the educational curricula at an early age. Then it would enable the development of ethical awareness in the society. An effective ethics policy should be based on a set of values or principles. Values are commonly derived from wider cultural and societal value systems.
The project has begun in May 2016. Within the scope of the project, workshops and conferences were held with the participation of different sector representatives in various cities in the cooperation with TOBB. During the workshops, the ethical principles in different sectors and practices of ethical code in businesses were evaluated.
In December 2016, TEPAV's project partner from UK, IBLF Global along with TEPAV organized study visits in the UK and Turkey. Following subjects were examined "Integrity, Reputation, Ethical Behaviors, Audits, Investigations and Transparency" at the visited institutions and organizations. Bribery, fighting against corruption, occupational ethics and UK-Turkey Business Relations was also discussed.
The Report on The Code of Ethics for the Construction Sector” was prepared as an outcome of TEPAV’s “Promotion of Business Ethics and Transparency in SMEs” Project. The report will be presented to the relevant sector council representatives.