The Tyco Guide to Ethical Conduct

The Tyco Guide to Ethical Conduct has been developed to advise employees on what the correct practices and procedures are, when working for Tyco, the guide also outlines examples of unethical behaviour and ways in which it can be reported.

On May 6th 2003 the guide was rolled out to 260,000 Tyco Employees. To accompany the Guide in 2004 training was implemented with a small ethics course which employees complete online, followed by an ethics statement which all employees must sign annually, this training is compulsory training which all employees must adhere to when commencing employment with Tyco

Formulation of the Guide

The Tyco Guide to Ethical conduct was developed in 2003 to help set ethical standards and code of conduct for its employees. The drive to develop this Ethical guide was due to the unethical practices for former CEO Dennis Kozlowski. In 2002, Kozlowski and former CFO Mark Swartz were accused of stealing from the company $170 million and $430 million in stock sales, [Tyco's cost tyrant. 2001. Strategic Direction 17, no. 5 (May 1): 9-11. (accessed October 17, 2007).] both executives have been sentenced to jail and have also been forced to pay back some of the money. During Kozlowski’s time as CEO he adopted a strategic incentive scheme to help the aggressive growth of the organization. The scheme is focused on growth and earnings targets and all employees benefit when targets are met. Along with the incentive payments comes responsibility - as well as freedom - for Tyco executives. [ Louis Lavelle in New York (2002, November). REBUILDING TRUST IN TYCO Wharton's Mike Useem aims to overhaul the corporate culture. But was he too close to the problem? Business Week,(3809), 94-96. Retrieved October 17, 2007, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 242526061).]

Due to the unethical behavior and subsequent sentencing of Tyco’s executives, the new CEO Edward Breen, sought to improve the ethical standards of the company and introduced the Tyco Guide to Ethical Conduct. Tyco International is under constant scrutiny now to ensure that the ethical guidelines are followed and that the company is conducting business in manner which is honest and abides by the laws set down in every country.

Code Topics

The guide covers a number of topics and outlines what types of behavior are acceptable and which is not; it also provides examples of unethical behavior the topics covered in the code are:

1. Equal Employment

Outlines the equal opportunity and fair treatment should extend to all employee, it prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, colour, disability, ethnicity, marital, or family status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other characteristic.

2. Harassment-Free Workplace

States that certain behavior is not permitted such as, unwelcome conduct, abusive language, aggression or sexual harassment.

3. Substance-Free Workplace

Prohibits being in possession or under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or other controlled substances.

4. Health, Safety and the EnvironmentProhibits the possession of weapons, does not allow threats of harm. Enforces that stringent safety procedures, be adhered to at all times and that all operations are in compliance with the applicable environmental laws.

5. Political Activities

States employees must comply with all state and local laws regarding participation in political affairs also that employees can not make contributions of company funds to political parties.

6. Conflicts of Interest

Employees must notify human resources if they have any involvement with organizations outside of Tyco, also that employees must make decisions bases on the needs of the company not on personal interests or relationships.

7. Gifts

This outlines what kinds of gifts may be acceptable and places a maximum monetary value for these gifts, it also states that employees are expected to disclose any gifts that they receive to the company.

8. Fraud

States that intentional acts of fraud are subject to disciplinary action and include things such as: submitting false expense reports, forging or altering checks, inflating sales figures by shipping inventory know to be defective of non-conforming.

9. Antitrust

Looks at ensuring that competition remains free from collusion and unlawful conduct such as: discussing with a competitor price, costs and production. Restricting the right of a customer to sell or lease a product or service at or above a certain price.

10. Propriety and Confidential Information

Outlines that the companies proprietary and confidential information not be shared with anyone- including coworkers who may not need to know about it, it discusses the need for protection of intellectual property and financial information.

11. Inside Information and Trading Tyco Securities

Prohibits employees form buying or selling Tyco stock as a result of receiving inside information.

12. The Media and Financial Community

Any communication with the news or media should be directed to the corporate public relations office, this includes discussing speculation on stock price changes, rumors about mergers or acquisitions, management changes or new products, policies, or strategies.

13. "'E-Mail, the Internet and the Use of Company Property"'

Discusses the use and duration of E-mail and the internet for personal use, also discusses the use of personal software on company computers, states that equipment is provided to enable employees to perform there jobs and that the use of company property should be for the sole purpose of conducting business related tasks

14. Record-Keeping, Financial and Export Controls

States that financial records and information must follow the U.S generally accepted accounting principles; and effective internal controls. The topic also states that all information must be communicated in an accurate and timely manner, it also discussed record keeping and retention and how documents and files should be saved.

The code also includes information about where employees can go for help and includes contact information for the toll free ConcernLINE, the office ombudsman or alternative contacts such as the human resources department of the corporate governance office.


The ethical guide provides employees with a tool in which they can utilize on a daily basis to enable them to make decisions about what sort of behavior is considered ethical or unethical by the company.The guide ties in closely with Tyco’s vision and values which are; integrity, excellence, teamwork and accountability.

ee also

Tyco International


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