Our Credo: The Johnson and Johnson Ethics Oath

Our Credo was created in 1943 by Robert Wood Johnson, a member of the founding family of the Johnson and Johnson Company.

Posted by Joe Gerard in Ethics, Ethics & Compliance on April 15th, 2010

Johnson & Johnson published their own form of an “ethics oath” entitled “Our Credo“, as a way to communicate the mission, vision and accountability that Johnson & Johnson holds itself to for a variety of groups- doctors, nurses, patients, mothers, fathers, employees, those in the communities they operate in, as well as the global community and company stockholders.

A strong code of conduct can help your company develop an ethical corporate culture. Download the free Code of Conduct template to get started.

In an earlier article, “Crisis Management and Ethics Best Practices: Johnson & Johnson“, we discussed the elements of the corporate culture at J&J and other practices they have adopted that have made the company a leader in corporate social responsibility.

Johnson & Johnson understands its responsibility to provide safe products to its consumers.
The Credo was created in 1943 by Robert Wood Johnson, a member of the founding family of the Johnson and Johnson Company. It was created just before the company became a publicly traded entity and long before the term “corporate social responsibility” was used for accountability in the workplace. Johnson and Johnson corporate website, says:

“Our Credo challenges us to put the needs and well-being of the people we serve first. Our Credo is more than just a moral compass- we believe it’s a recipe for business success. As a key player in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, Johnson & Johnson understands the responsibility they have when it comes to providing safe products to their consumers, as the risks tied to faulty products within this industry are particularly sensitive.”

The Ethics Oath

Many companies use storytelling and the mission of previous company leaders as a way to inspire employees and get them on board when working towards company goals. In the case of Johnson and Johnson, the importance of “Our Credo” has been evident since conception, and continues to play a significant role in the company today. When looking at the benefits that an ethics oath can provide a company, Johnson and Johnson has been able to experience the rewards associated with each of these benefits.

The story of  Johnson and Johnson’s “Our Credo” is a great example of the positive impact a corporate ethics oath can have on a company.


Joe Gerard
Joe Gerard

CEO, i-Sight

Spend my days showing off the i-Sight investigative case management software and finding ways to help clients improve their investigations. Usually working with corporate security, HR & employee relations, compliance and legal teams.

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