by Patricia J. Harned
This recession seems to have an upside: Employees are behaving better. Don’t get too excited; the uptick in ethical behavior is probably temporary.
But the sixth National Business Ethics Survey by the Ethics Resource Center (ERC) shows that the amount of misconduct observed, employees’ willingness to report misdeeds, the strength of ethical cultures and the pressure to cut corners all have improved since 2007, even though the economy has been bad.
Something similar happened from 2000 to 2003, when the economy was rocked by the bursting of the dot-com bubble, the events of 9/11 and corporate scandals involving WorldCom, Tyco and Enron. ERC’s ethics metrics all improved during that period, too—only to fall back once the economy bounced back.
Still, the news is good for now. It could be that during these extraordinary times, leaders are more naturally talking about the kinds of behaviors that emp...(register to read more)