Here’s an interesting picture of the state of corporate managerial behaviour in the US.
The research and report, from which this graphic was copied is The National Business Ethics Survey 2013, Copyright 2014, The Ethics Resource Centre. I have found this and the 2011 survey very interesting when discussing ethical issues and behaviours with business people. My take on it is that this worrying statistic is not unknown, but remains deliberately unmanaged by the leaders of organisations. Most leaders think they have dealt with ethics if they implement more governance initiatives and call them ethics, but we really know that rules alone are part of the problem not the solution. What I talk about below is not an appeal for more rules, but for people to recognise that it’s their individual behaviour they are responsible for and that is ETHICS.
Competition between individuals driven by a ‘survive at the top’ mentality causes much of this poor conduct. It really is time for some ethics education. The reason is powerful, but may not be obvious to those of you unfamiliar with the original meanings of words used in ethics. Personal ethics is about trying to answer the question, ‘how should we live our life’? How we live our life can only be determined by how we behave – what we actually do. So, if we act poorly at work, for example, then for a large and important part of our life we are habitualising a weak personal character. People should remember these wise words, ‘it’s not what we acquire through our life that is the measure of our happiness, but the quality with which we live our life’. If your character is strong you will perform better and enjoy work more, that’s good for you and your employer.
I would love to talk to your about the ethical performance of your organisation. Please give me a call and see if we at Memeology can help.