|Pressure to act unethically is rising.|
Monday, 18th June 2012
Source : Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist
Though four of five businesses worldwide claim to be committed to ethical performance, their behaviors do not always match their rhetoric.
According to a new report from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), in reality, financial professionals---especially in emerging economies---reported feeling increasing pressure to act unethically.
In the face of these statistics, it is interesting that 80 percent of organizations now provide codes of ethics to guide employees regarding ethical standards in their work, up 8 percentage points from 2008 (72 percent). That increase would be good news. . .
However, only 36 percent collect ethics information, like the number of employees attending ethics training and actions taken on hotline reports. There is no accountability! Since the right information is critical to managing ethical performance, this lack of measurement suggests ethical practice falls short of stated policy. The study, titled "Managing Responsible Business" is a global survey of almost 2,000 global management accountants in nearly 80 countries.
The fading "tone from the top" comes as more than a third of those surveyed (35 percent) said they "sometimes" or "always" feel pressured to compromise their organization's standards of ethical conduct. This over one-third level compares to 28 percent of respondents in 2008---a 25 percent increase. The pressure is highest in developing economies like Malaysia (54 percent), and India (51 percent), and lowest in the United Kingdom and United States, where only 18 percent of those surveyed feel pressure.
Larger Organizations in more developed economies generally have more advanced ethics programs. Moreover, according to the report, US companies are most likely to monitor or evaluate ethical standards. On a more positive note, more than half of companies (57 percent) now provide training on ethical standards, 49 percent provide a hotline for reporting conduct that violates the organization's standards of ethics, and 25 percent provide incentives for staff to uphold the organization's standards of ethical conduct.
Our forecast is that organizations with this kind of incongruous pressure on their people will have an increasingly difficult time holding onto their good people. Top talent is attracted to organizations with high integrity where ethics is important.
As the world economies improve and people have greater numbers of choices, they will gravitate toward the workplaces where they can feel good.
© Copyright 1998-2012 by The Herman Group of Companies, Inc., all rights reserved. From 'The Herman Trend Alert,' by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. (800) 227-3566 or www.hermangroup.com
The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group of Companies, Inc. Reprinted with permission.