Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ethics in the construction industry: a new report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, November 19, 2013
Contact: Jenny Smolinsky,, 571.480.4413
State of Ethics in the U.S. Construction Industry:
Ethics Resource Center Releases Findings in Latest Report
Arlington, VA - U.S. Construction Industry employees are more at risk for facing workplace ethics issues, but they are also more willing to blow the whistle on misconduct than employees in other industries, according to a report released today from the Ethics Resource Center (ERC). The most recent study from ERC, the National Business Ethics Survey® of the U.S. Construction Industry sheds some light on how construction employees view ethics issues in their industry.
When compared to the U.S. national averages, employees in the U.S. construction industry indicated that they feel far more pressure to compromise standards (18%), witness more misconduct (53%), and are significantly more likely to experience retaliation after reporting said misconduct (37%). These numbers are likely due to the inherent pressure of the work that construction companies undertake.
Among the more positive findings from the study were the reporting rates. An impressive 74 percent of construction employees said they reported workplace misconduct, a number that is higher than any other group of employees in all 19 years of ERC's National Business Ethics Survey® research. To compare, the 2011 national average was only 65 percent.
"Through this survey, we hope to establish a baseline for the state of ethics in the U.S. construction industry," said ERC President, Patricia Harned. "By identifying emerging ethics and compliance issues, industry leaders can identify priorities that enable them to improve conduct in the workplace."
The latest study in the National Business Ethics Survey® body of research, this version takes a look into the non-residential construction industry within the United States. The report reflects the views of employees in organizations that serve as general contractors, subcontractors and program managers who took part in the voluntary survey. The sample was made up of invitees from panels managed by Precision Sample, LLC, as well as invitees from Reed Construction Data.

About the Ethics Resource Center
The Ethics Resource Center (ERC) is America's oldest nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization dedicated to independent research and the advancement of high ethical standards and practices. Since 1922, ERC has been a resource for public and private institutions committed to a strong ethical culture. ERC's expertise informs the public dialogue on ethics and ethical behavior. ERC researchers analyze current and emerging issues and produce new ideas and benchmarks that matter - for the public trust. Visit us at
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