Press Release

ERC National Business Ethics Survey

Press Release

For immediate release: January 5, 2012
For media inquiries contact Adam Benson at adam@ethics.org

NEW RESEARCH: 45 PERCENT OF U.S. EMPLOYEES OBSERVED MISCONDUCT; HIGHEST LEVELS OF WHISTLEBLOWING, BUT MORE THAN ONE IN FIVE WHISTLEBLOWERS EXPERIENCED RETALIATION
Latest National Business Ethics Survey Reveals Looming Ethics Downturn in Corporate America   

Arlington, VA - As we begin 2012, new research from the Ethics Resource Center (ERC) reveals that over the past two years, 45 percent of U.S. employees observed a violation of the law or ethics standards at their places of employment. Reporting of this wrongdoing was at all-time high - 65 percent - but so too was retaliation against employees who blew the whistle: more than one in five employees who reported misconduct they saw experienced some form of retaliation in return. According to the seventh National Business Ethics Survey® (NBES): Workplace Ethics in Transition, ethics cultures in business are also at their weakest point since 2000. 
 
The free ERC report can be downloaded at http://www.ethics.org/nbes.

"While most U.S. workers are currently 'doing the right thing' by following company standards and reporting wrongdoing when they see it, we see trouble ahead," said ERC President Patricia J. Harned, Ph.D. "Retaliation against whistleblowers and pressure on employees to compromise their ethics standards are at or near all-time highs. These are factors that historically indicate that American business may be on the cusp of a large downward shift in ethical conduct."
 
Read the full press Release at http://www.ethics.org/news/2011nbes
 
Upcoming NBES Reports to Further Explore Workplace Trends
Over the next several months, ERC will release a number of supplemental reports that take a closer look at the specific trends that impact workplace ethics. Upcoming reports include Social Networkers in the Workplace; Software Piracy; Employee Reporting; Employee Retaliation; and Generational Differences. To learn more visit our website.

Industry Reactions to NBES Results
The NBES was made possible by corporate sponsors who generously donated to the ERC specifically to conduct the survey. Those donors include: Walmart, Northrop Grumman, Altria, BP, PWC, United Technologies, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, BAE Systems, Southern Company, Aetna, SAIC, and NASDAQ.        
 
About the Ethics Resource Center
The Ethics Resource Center (ERC) is America's oldest nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and the advancement of high ethical standards and practices in public and private institutions. Since 1922, ERC has been a resource for public and private institutions committed to a strong ethical culture. ERC's expertise informs the public dialogue on ethics and ethical behavior. ERC researchers analyze current and emerging issues and produce new ideas and benchmarks that matter - for the public trust.