IZA Code of Conduct
IZA is a bridge builder for research in labor economics. We narrow the distance between science and society, and transport relevant knowledge about the working world to the general public, political actors and economic players. IZA is the hub of a global network of scholars who work with us to create a sound economic understanding of how labor markets work and how labor market policies perform. We contribute to the future of labor research by supporting young scholars on their paths to becoming tomorrow’s leading academics.
IZA is driven by the conviction that excellent research in labor economics is relevant to society. Our work is based on our common values of transparency, mutual respect, integrity and reliability. In order to uphold the high standards of excellent research and provide a healthy and open work environment, we have set out the following rules as a guide for all of us.
1. Compliance with applicable local, national and international laws and regulations
Compliance with all applicable laws in all our interactions in business and with society is crucial. Employees, guests and contract partners are required to be familiar with basic laws, as well as any laws and regulations that are specific to their position. In cases of doubt concerning specific laws or regulations, employees and guests are expected to seek the help of IZA management prior to taking any related action.
IZA follows a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to violations of laws. Violations will have severe consequences, including disciplinary action. IZA will report violations to the responsible authorities for possible criminal investigation where applicable.
2. Personal conduct
At IZA, all employees, guests and contract partners are expected to treat all people with whom they come into contact during their work with respect and always strive to prevent any harm to others. This includes but is not limited to:
- Being respectful, polite and patient
- Letting people speak their mind
- Not insulting or belittling others
- Not behaving inappropriately toward others and making no unwanted advances of any kind
- Not exploiting others for personal gain in any way
- Not bullying, mobbing, spreading rumors or talking negatively about colleagues behind their backs
- Not falsely accusing others of wrongdoing
- Keeping private political views to oneself
- Not commenting on other people’s sexual orientation, religion, health or political opinions or basing any decisions on such categories
Good personal conduct also means that one should speak up when witnessing inappropriate behavior and let the person displaying such behavior know that their conduct is not appropriate. Anyone working at or with IZA should always ensure that no harm is done to anyone, especially any persons who may be more vulnerable than others or cannot fend for themselves, such as children or vulnerable adults.
All decisions such as recruiting, hiring, promotion, disciplinary actions or similar decisions must be made free from any illegal or discriminatory practices.
3. Research integrity
As a research organization, research integrity is one of the highest goals of IZA. Cutting-edge modern research should always follow best practice while being honest, objective impartial and fair. As such, it is expected that employees, contract partners and any other persons conducting research on behalf of IZA should follow the highest professional and academic standards, including:
- Taking all necessary steps to acquaint oneself with all available guidance concerning ‘best practice’ relevant to any part of one’s work, including but not limited to this code of conduct, applicable laws and regulations and international standards.
- Remaining honest, reliable, objective and independent.
- Documenting findings openly and in an accessible manner.
- Practicing strict honesty regarding one’s own contributions, providing reference and giving fair and adequate credit to the contributions of others.
- Understanding one’s responsibility for future generations of scientists and acting accordingly.
- Taking steps to ensure a working environment that promotes professional integrity.
- Avoiding conflicts of interest as far as possible, and where a conflict is not preventable, communicating the conflict to all those concerned.
As part of its mission, IZA encourages researcher interactions with practitioners and policy-makers as these can be beneficial to the research process and are part of the obligations of researchers for society. In this context, IZA believes that it is generally in the best interests of authors, readers and researchers to disclose the sources of support for their research as well as any related material and personal relationships involving themselves or their immediate family that could be considered a conflict of interest.
Thus, it is expected that authors and researchers:
- Acknowledge any relevant sources of research funding in scientific publications.
- Disclose any material relationships – financial or otherwise – that may be or could appear to be relevant to their research or publication, including consultancy or paid relationships with any commercial organization or governmental body that may stand to benefit from the research findings.
- Disclose any relevant personal relationships involving themselves or their immediate family that may be relevant to their research or publication.
In addition, any person engaged in research for and on behalf of IZA shall avoid the occurrence of all forms of scientific misconduct, including deliberate or grossly negligent:
- fabrication of research results and the misrepresentation of such results as actual findings;
- falsification of data by way of manipulating, modifying or omitting actual results;
- breaches of intellectual property rights of others;
- wrongful appropriation or imitation of the work of others or one’s own or utilization of any such work through false claims of authorship or without giving adequate credit (plagiarism);
- publication, utilization or misrepresentation of the work of subordinates as one’s own work; and
- failure to provide fair and transparent peer review.
4. Financial responsibility
All employees, guests or contract partners are expected to make use of funds and assets provided to them responsibly. This includes treating company assets with respect and preventing unnecessary use and damages, as well as preventing any form of fraud.
Employees, guests or contract partners should ensure that all funds are used only for the intended purpose and that no funds are used to finance illegal activities, including terrorism. It is the responsibility of everyone at IZA to prevent fraudulent activities such as fraud, embezzlement, theft, misappropriation or money laundering. All transactions should be properly recorded and accounting records should be kept in line with international standards of accounting.
Employees, guests and contract partners should neither offer nor accept any money or gifts in exchange for advantageous treatment. IZA follows a zero-tolerance policy concerning bribery and corruption and will report any such actions to the authorities for criminal investigation.
5. Human rights and personal safety
Every person working for or on behalf of IZA – including downstream partners – shall always uphold and protect the generally-accepted human rights of others. A zero-tolerance policy with respect to human rights abuses is expected of all IZA partners.
All persons engaged by or on behalf of IZA should take appropriate measures to ensure their own personal safety and health, as well as the personal safety of those around them. This includes but is not limited to providing a healthy and safe working environment, adequate work safety and sufficient rest times for employees.
IZA recognizes the importance of protecting the earth’s environment and reducing the impact that its activities may have on nature. All employees, guests and partner organizations are therefore expected to be mindful of the environmental impact of their work and prevent unnecessary negative impacts on the environment. This includes but is not limited to:
- Preventing unnecessary use of resources in general, including unnecessary printing.
- Avoiding unnecessary use of electricity by shutting off any unused equipment, especially when leaving the office for longer periods.
- Using the company heating responsibly and not keeping windows open for extended periods during colder seasons.
- Limiting garbage production and following local recycling recommendations or regulations.
- Considering telecommunication alternatives to business trips.
- Considering more sustainable methods of transport (e.g. train travel instead of short distance flights).
7. Data protection and confidentiality
Using data is an integral part of research and it is the responsibility of every employee, guest and contract partner to adhere to all applicable data protection regulations and protect data from unauthorized access or use by third parties. Data is only to be used for the purpose for which it has been collected or for which it was provided by the original owner of the data.
Data – especially sensitive personal information – should never be left open or unguarded, but should be stored safely and well protected by adequate protection measures. Any non-scientific data that is not used for research purposes should be deleted as soon as it is no longer needed.
Where applicable, data publication should always follow best practices and applicable regulations.
Personal information or other confidential information received from employees, guests, contract partners or third parties should always be kept confidential, unless otherwise required by law.
8. Open communication and reporting
Being able to speak freely without fear of retaliation helps to prevent, detect and correct misconduct. Therefore, all employees are welcome to approach their superiors and management to raise any issues or voice any concerns that they may have. IZA’s leadership is responsible for encouraging open dialogue.
IZA also expects its partners to allow their employees to engage in open dialogue. Intimidation or retaliation against employees or other parties who in good faith raise issues or report suspected or actual misconduct is not acceptable. IZA employees and employees of downstream partners must always be allowed to organize themselves and employee representatives must be allowed to approach management without fear of negative career impacts.
IZA employees, guests, contract partners or third parties are encouraged to approach any member of IZA management with any issues or concerns and they can do so directly by phone or email. Where a person wishes to bring attention to any issue without bringing attention to themselves, they can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Any reports received via this email address will be duly investigated and no efforts will be made to identify the sender of the report.