Execs Ain’t Misbehavin’

Jun 17, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Media coverage of scandals such as those involving US Foodservice, Tops Markets, Rite-Aid, Martha Stewart, etc. gives the impression that unethical behavior is a common and growing practice in corporate circles.

The reality, however, is much different, according to the 2003 National Business Ethics Survey from the Ethics Resources Center (ERC). The reported incidence of ethics violations decreased for the first time in 10 years the study has been conducted, going from 31 percent of respondents in 1994 to 22 percent today.

ERC Chairman Kenneth Frazier told The Buffalo News, “This is a welcome balance to the broad perception of an unethical corporate America. What we’re finding reflects the dedication of the many executives and employees who have worked for years to build strong ethical cultures in their organizations.”

The most common ethical lapses were abusive or intimidating behavior (cited by 21 percent of respondents); misreporting hours worked (20 percent); lying (19 percent) and withholding needed information (18 percent).

Moderator’s Comment: Do you agree that unethical behavior
in business relationships is on the decline? If yes, why do you think this is
happening and what does it mean for the retailing?

We’d like to believe an ethics renaissance is taking place.
Of course, we’d also like to believe there really is a Santa Claus.

Anderson – Moderator

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