13 December 2012

The UK Institute of Business Ethics has published its 2012 Employee Views of Ethics at Work survey. The survey assesses a number of issues which are similar to the State Services Integrity Survey (conducted in 2007 and 2010), the questionset for which is based on the US National Business Ethics Survey.

The IBE reports encouraging findings. British workers see an increase in ethical standards, and a majority believes that their organisation always or frequently behaved honestly. This reflects a significant increase since 2008 in the numbers who say their organisation promotes values and sets standards of ethical behaviour.

Employees were more likely to say that they hadn’t seen unlawful or unethical conduct and were not pressured to compromise their organisations ethical standards.

The survey shows:

  • 30% of employees who report misconduct are not satisfied with the outcome.
  • Women are generally more ethical employees  but employees between 16 -34 are significantly more likely to be tolerant of unethical conduct at work.
  • Although 20% say they have seen unlawful behaviour in their organisation only a third of them reported it. (Comparable surveys indicate that 65% of American workers and 63% of New Zealand State servants report misconduct if they see it.)  However they are significantly more likely to experience pressure to behave unethically than in previous years.