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Recession has made the workplace more honest, report suggests

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Tue Dec 15 2009

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Times are bad, and it's a dog-eat-dog world. We're in it for what we can get. Cut a safety corner here. Pad expenses there. Take the kickback because everybody's doing it.

Right? Not at all. The recession appears to have made the workplace a more honest place.

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Since 1994, the Ethics Resource Center has fielded the biennial National Business Ethics Survey. Based on findings from the new 2009 report, released this week, the center reached what may be a surprising conclusion: We behave better in bad times.

 

"Contrary to what one might expect, misconduct declines in turbulent economic times and rises when the pressure's off," the report says.

 

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When asked about specific abuses or ethical lapses - such as misusing company resources, lying to outside stakeholders or falsifying time or expenses - a smaller percentage of U.S. workers observed problems this year compared with the 2007 survey, taken before the recession began.

 

"Yet our research suggests that the improvements in ethical conduct will be temporary," warned the ethics center's CEO, Patricia Harned.

Read the full article.

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