Professional Ethics - Code of Conduct

As approved by the Board of Directors, 19 October 2005

The Association for Business Communication is an international organization committed to fostering excellence in business communication scholarship, research, education, and practice. Our responsibilities are to our students, to each other within the Association, to the larger scholastic and practical academy, and to the global community. Our guiding principles are truthfulness, honesty, and fairness; confidentiality; integrity; respect for others; and professional and social responsibility.

Truthfulness, Honesty, and Fairness. We seek truthfulness, honesty, and fairness with our students, clients, and colleagues. We engage in truthful, factual, well balanced, forthright, honest, and accurate communication. We avoid deception in our research and provide thorough citations to the work of others. Our published works document the unique work found in other published works and provide thorough attribution of those concepts. We accurately describe our education, qualifications, certifications, and knowledge. We strive for consistency, transparency, and fairness in evaluating our students' work.

Confidentiality. We respect our students' rights to privacy in academic records and personal conversations. We protect our clients' proprietary, personal, and organizational information. We do not divulge information, concepts, or findings when we serve as "blind" referees for conference papers, proceedings, or journal articles.

Integrity. We are committed to the principle of integrity by applying it to our teaching, research, consulting, and professional activities. We avoid conflicts of interest and situations that would discredit the Association. We uphold all financial and contractual obligations regarding research grants. We completely report our research results, including results that may not support our expectations. We give credit where due. We protect the rights of human subjects in our research. We do not knowingly act in ways that jeopardize our own or others' professional welfare.

Respect for others. We are led by scholarly civility. We respect our students and their intellectual freedom. We are courteous and civil to our students, colleagues and clients. We value diversity. We practice inclusiveness and treat others with respect.

Professional and social responsibility. We seek professional and social responsibility through keeping ourselves current and competent with our profession, advancing knowledge, sharing truthful and accurate research, and using our communication talents for the good and welfare of our social communities. We encourage our students to uphold ethical standards in their own business communication. We assist colleagues and co-workers in their professional development. We seek to hold the Association in high esteem, to uphold its dignity and credibility and to enhance its prestige.