NBES Supplemental Research Briefs
ERC reserves several topics from the NBES study for further discussion in supplemental reports.
Supplemental Reports from the 2011 NBES:
This report delves into trends among four specific generational groups- Millennials, Generation X (Gen X’ers), Boomers, and Traditionalists. Each generation, shaped by significant world events and cultural trends, exhibits distinct differences when it comes to ethics. According to the study, certain age groups are more “at risk” than others when it comes to the four key measures of ethical performance- pressure to compromise standards, misconduct, reporting, and retaliation. For instance, the report reveals that the younger the worker, the more likely they are to feel pressure, observe misconduct, and experience retaliation for reporting.
Major findings from the survey include:
- Almost half of Millennials (49 percent) observed workplace misconduct
- The youngest workers (29 percent) were significantly more likely to experience retaliation than Gen X’ers (21 percent) and Baby Boomers (18 percent)
- After witnessing misconduct, over half of employees in every age group reported it to their supervisor first
Retaliation against workplace whistleblowers is rising dramatically, extending to previously safe groups such as senior managers and also including more acts of physical violence, the Ethics Resource Center (ERC) said today in a supplemental report to its 2011 National Business Ethics Survey® (NBES). The trend mirrors increasing levels of stress at workplaces in transition because of the sluggish economy, mergers, and other disruptive events.
For years, the term "whistleblower" has been used to describe those employees who go outside their company to report wrongdoing. They may do so because they do not trust their company to handle the issue appropriately or because they are angry or frustrated after their attempts at internal reporting proved to be futile. According to the study whistleblowers almost always make some effort to root out wrongdoing internally before going outside the organization with their concerns. The new report said that only two percent of employees go solely outside their companies to report misconduct.
Research Briefs from the 2009 NBES:
Released September 2010. Sponsored by:
The Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics (SCCE)
The study finds that when it comes to employees reporting misconduct on the job – an important measure of an ethical workplace culture – women and nonunion workers tend to get the gold star and that an immediate supervisor, not a hotline, is likely to be the go-to point of contact. Download Research Brief.
Released August 2010. Sponsored by:
Fear of retaliation for speaking up about ethical violations in the workplace not only affects whether workers are willing to report wrongdoing to management, it drives the level of misconduct itself, according to a new study released by the Ethics Research Center. Download Research Brief.
Released July 2010. This report is a joint project of ERC and Hay Group, a global management consulting firm.
A study of workplace data collected by the Ethics Resource Center indicates that employees tend to respond to an ethical culture with improved company loyalty and a willingness to “go the extra mile” for their employer.
The report suggests that “employee engagement is heavily influenced by factors that have nothing to do with money. . .
Download Research Brief.
Released June 2010. Sponsored by:
The Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA)
The Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics (SCCE)
Organizations with strong ethical values – from top executives to middle managers to workers – experience less misconduct, more frequent reporting of misbehavior and less retaliation on the job. The study indicates that strong ethical culture in a company has a “profound” impact on the kinds of workplace behavior that can put a business in jeopardy. Download Research Brief.
Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers: Who's Working at Your Company and What Do They Think About Ethics
American workers between the ages of 18 and 29 – the “Millennials” – have more in common with older co-workers when it comes to workplace ethics than often thought, but they also hold to some values that set them apart from their Baby Boomer counterparts. Download Research Brief.
Saving the Company Comes at a Cost:
The Relationship Between Belt-Tightening Tactics and Increased Employee Misconduct
Released February 2010.
In order to address changing needs and to weather financial struggles, companies often have to make difficult decisions that impact employees’ lives at—and outside of—work. Companies use a variety of tactics (adjusted work schedules, layoffs, reductions in compensation and/or benefits, hiring freezes, early buyouts, production slowdowns, and plant closures1). Research conducted as a part of the 2009 National Business Ethics Survey2 reveals that all of these tactics are related to significant increases in the number of employees observing misconduct. Download Research Brief
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