What do you think of when you hear the word “code?” It could be the Internal Revenue Code, The Code of Military Justice, the Napoleonic Code or various state, federal and local building codes.
All are specific requirements which are intricate, complex, and frequently must be interpreted by experts. No one expects that these codes can be understood, much less committed to memory by non-experts through a single reading.
Corporate Codes of Conduct govern how business is to be done in much the same way that the preceding codes govern their subject matter. Yet, an organization typically posts the codes, perhaps teaches a class or two on its requirements and apparently expects that all will be understood and properly applied.
No wonder such codes are seen by many as confusing and unhelpful.