National Ethics Survey Shows Decrease in Unethical Behavior on the Job

The Ethics Resource Center just released its 2009 National Business Ethics Survey/Ethics in the Recession, in which they describe as the “most exacting longitudinal research effort examining organizational ethics from the employee perspective.”  This longitudinal survey looks at national trends and tracks views of employees from all levels within organizations.  Responses for this survey included 2,852 employees in for-profit organizations.

The report highlights a host of findings, including, just to name a few: (1) more employees reported they had reported misconduct when they observed it—this percentage was 58% in 2007 and increased to 63 % in 2009, (2) fewer employees noted that they witnessed misconduct on the job (56 % in 2007 and 49 % in 2009), (3) the perceived pressure by employees to commit an ethics violation declined from 10 % in 2007 to 8 % in 2009.  On the other hand, retaliation against those who reported misconduct rose 3 percentage points since 2007. 

Many of the results, particularly in these economic times, are encouraging to say the least.  While the report targets employees of for-profit organizations, it reinforces the idea that nonprofits should do all that they can to foster an environment dedicated to strong ethical practices.  For instance, nonprofits should take care to implement components of the Standards for Excellence:  An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector® like instituting a confidential means for reporting of improprieties, having a strong conflict of interest policy, abiding by the legal requirements at all levels, and assuring adequate protections for the people we serve.

For more information on the best practices in nonprofit management and governance described in the Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector®, click here

To order copies of the Standards for Excellence® code, click here.  Discounts are available for members and those who order in bulk.   


About Amy Coates Madsen

Amy Coates Madsen serves as the Program Director of the Standards for Excellence Institute.
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5 Responses to National Ethics Survey Shows Decrease in Unethical Behavior on the Job

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