"The word 'ethics' turns off many and confuses more. Yet the notions of shared values and an agreed-on process for dealing with adversity and change-what many people mean when they talk about corporate culture-seem to be at the heart of the ethical issue. People who are in touch with their own core beliefs and the beliefs of others and are sustained by them can be more comfortable living on the cutting edge. At times, taking a tough line or a decisive stand in a mussel of ambiguity is the only ethical thing to do. If a manger is indecisive and spends time trying to figure out the "good" think to do, the enterprise may be lost. One of the foremost costs has been our seemingly sustained reluctance to formalize the ethical minimums which should govern our business and to pass these findings on to those who join the Agency. Although many of us have discussed the ethics of our profession, little has been done organizationally to capture these thoughts. Rather than possibly hamstringing future options by formalizing Agency dos and don'ts, we seem to prefer risking a repetition of behaviors which have jeopardized our organization standing and credibility in the past. We can ill afford to allow this trade-off to continue."
Center for the Study of Intelligence: https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/index.html
Studies in Intelligence (1992), v.36 no.5