New Research


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NEW RESEARCH: 2011 NATIONAL BUSINESS ETHICS SURVEY JANUARY 5, 2012, HTTP://WWW.ETHICS.ORG/NEWS/2011NBES - ETHICS RESOURCE CENTER NEWS RELEASE NEW RESEARCH: 45 PERCENT OF U.S. EMPLOYEES OBSERVED MISCONDUCT; HIGHEST LEVELS OF WHISTLEBLOWING, BUT MORE THAN ONE IN FIVE WHISTLEBLOWERS EXPERIENCED RETALIATION Latest National Business Ethics Survey Reveals Looming Ethics Downturn in Corporate America ARLINGTON, Va.—Jan. 5, 2012— As we begin 2012, new research from the Ethics Resource Center (ERC) reveals that over the past two years, 45 percent of U.S. employees observed a violation of the law or ethics standards at their places of employment. Reporting of this wrongdoing was at all-time high – 65 percent – but so too was retaliation against employees who blew the whistle: more than one in five employees who reported misconduct they saw experienced some form of retaliation in return. According to the seventh National Business Ethics Survey® (NBES): Workplace Ethics in Transition , ethics cultures in business are also at their weakest point since 2000. The free ERC report can be downloaded at . “While most U.S. workers are currently ‘doing the right thing’ by following company standards and reporting wrongdoing when they see it, we see trouble ahead,” said ERC President Patricia J. Harned, Ph.D. “Retaliation against whistleblowers and pressure on employees to compromise their ethics standards are at or near all-time highs. These are factors that historically indicate that American business may be on the cusp of a large downward shift in ethical conduct.” Strength of Ethical Business Cultures Near Record Lows as Employees Lose Confidence in Top Managers and Supervisors The strength of corporate ethics cultures are also at their weakest in a decade. As companies with weak ethics cultures experience increased levels of employee misconduct, the newest NBES reveals some disturbing trends. The percentage of businesses with weak ethical cultures, 42 percent, is at the highest level since 2000: a seven-percentage point gain from 2009 and a reflection of improving national economic conditions. With a reported reduced focus on corporate belt-tightening and cost cutting measures, it appears that much of the “fear” around violating company rules and
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regulations has been removed, encouraging some employees to engage in risky behavior. Creating an ethical culture begins at the top, and employees are saying that senior executives seem less concerned about upholding high standards of integrity. Confidence in senior leadership fell to 62 percent, matching the historic low established in 2000 and down six percentage points from 2009. Far fewer employees believe their direct supervisors act as ethical leaders: one third of employees (34 percent) say their managers
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2012 for the course JOMC 137 taught by Professor Byars during the Spring '11 term at UNC.

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