SURVEY: WORKPLACE MISCONDUCT AT HISTORIC LOW National Business Ethics Survey by Ethics Resource Center Reveals Decline in Workplace Misdeeds, Improvement in Ethics Culture in Past Six Years
Arlington, VA - Research released today by the Ethics Resource Center (ERC), America's oldest nonprofit advancing high ethical standards and practices in public and private institutions, revealsthat workplace misconduct is at a historic low, having steadily and significantly declined since 2007.
The eighth National Business Ethics Survey (NBES) shows that 41 percent of over 6,400 workers surveyed said they have observed misconduct on the job, down from 55 percent in 2007. In addition, the report found that fewer employees felt pressure to compromise their standards, down to nine percent from 13 percent in 2011.
Noted Michael G. Oxley, ERC Chairman of the Board, former Congressman and House co-sponsor of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, "Companies are working harder to build strong cultures and implement increasingly sophisticated ethics and compliance programs. The results of the survey are encouraging and show that companies are doing a better job of holding workers accountable, imposing discipline for misconduct, and letting it be known publicly that bad behavior will be punished."
The continued decline in wrongdoing defied two factors that often accompany observed misconduct - retaliation and pressure to violate rules, which both rose two years ago in NBES 2011 and seemed to foreshadow an uptick in bad behavior. Historically, higher stock prices have been accompanied by higher rates of misconduct, presumably because workers and companies both were tempted to take more risks in order to enjoy the rising tides. The reverse was also true: In times of economic challenge, companies focused on ethics in order to weather the storm and misconduct declined accordingly.
Live webinars will be held on February 21st and February 25th, during which ERC researchers will provide an extended briefing on NBES findings. Please save the date, and be on the lookout for information on how to register.
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 www.ethics.org.