With the growing complexity of the moral global environment and an increased demand for public accountability, managerial ethics experienced a considerable growth of interest over the last decade. Global political, social, and environmental issues call upon international managers and policy-makers to solve new and difficult ethical dilemmas, which have made the traditional codes of conduct inadequate (Petrick and Quinn 1997). There is, however, a tendency, especially in relation to ethics applied to man-

agement in the corporate sector, to refer to “business ethics” and circumscribe it to individual behavior in the workplace, losing sight of the ethical relevance of the behavior of the organization as a whole and the impact of its actions on society. The idea of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is often associated with a wider understanding of ethical management of a business, enabling companies to become more socially active, without abandoning profit-making which remains their primary objective. Whether “business ethics is an oxymoron” remains an open debate (Watkins and Hill 2011). For professionals with executive responsibilities in International Institutions (IIs)

and International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs), ethics should be a mainstream concern. IIs as well as “public interest” INGOs (see Chapter 2) play a fundamental role in addressing international and increasingly transnational issues that affect the daily life of millions of the world’s citizens. Thus, their scope and aims are mostly related to the common good and issues of public interest such as

peace and security, education, health, social and economic development, environmental protection, human rights, and humanitarian responses. Ethics concerns the concept of “the life worth living” or the “good life” as

determined by choices inspired by defined moral principles and values. Do organizations, and specifically IIs and INGOs have values and live according to them? Or is ethics a category that applies only to individuals, and in our case to individual members and officers of those organizations? In other words can we define what “ethical organizations” are? From debates over IIs hiding information related to their interaction with cor-

porations with vested interests, to discriminatory practices in non-profits, ethics in organizations has received increasing attention. Two approaches have been identified in discussing the subject. The “individualistic

approach” assumes that every person in an organization is morally responsible for his or her own behavior and that any efforts to change that behavior should focus on the individual. The second, called the “communal approach” considers individuals as members of communities that are partially responsible for the behavior of their members and argues that behavioral changes are also consequent to the transformation of the communities to which individuals belong. The communal approach, focuses on the common good, and on ways in which actions or policies promote or prohibit social justice or ways in which they bring harm or benefits to the entire community. Each approach incorporates a different view of moral responsibility and of the kinds of ethical principles that should be used to resolve ethical problems (Brown 1989). In this chapter we integrate and extend those two approaches into two different

categories, distinguishing between ethics of International Organizations, and ethics in International Organizations. The first focuses on strategies and operations of the organization, in relation to its declared principles, and the overall impact of its choices. Thus, it mainly concerns the behavior of the governing bodies and the leadership of the organization. The second looks mainly into individual and group behaviours and choices in relation both to their own systems of values and to those of the organization they belong. In both of our categories, the individualistic and the communal approaches have roles to play in the attempt to face managerial challenges. Finally, we propose the concept of an “ethical organization” and identify the

parameters of such an organization. In a separate section below we propose some basic elements about studying the field of ethics.