Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Survey Finds on the Job Ethics Improving Possibly Due to a Slow Economy

Businesses seem to be promoting ethical behavior on the job, but less than robust economic conditions may provide a stronger incentive for good employee conduct, according to a recent survey ("Workplace Ethics Increasing, Perhaps Because of the Recession, but Misconduct on the Job Still High, Survey Finds," (Cleveland Plain Dealer), February 10, 2014).

The 19th National Business Ethics Survey from the Ethics Resource Center (ERC) using "6420 responses from employees in the for-profit sector" found that retaliation for reporting misconduct was still a concern even though it saw a slight decline. Yet, there was an increase in employee reporting of unethical behavior on the job. However, the ERC President mentioned that if a stronger economy returns, more employees may be tempted to engage in unauthorized practices to increase the bottom line for themselves and their employers.

Discussion Questions:
  1. Do people you know act ethically on the job and in their personal lives? Why or why not?
  2. Would you report misconduct that you observed in your workplace even if you might face retaliation?
  3. Have you ever worked for an unethical supervisor? If so, how did his or her behavior affect you?