2011 National Business Ethics Survey

The 2011 National Business Ethics Survey is the seventeenth in a series of reports that began in 1994, an ongoing research initiative of the Ethics Resource Center.  All work in this effort is funded by charitable contributions.  In this year’s survey,  the author’s expressed great surprise at the results. Here is a sample of the data:

To begin with there are 138 million workers in United States over the age of 18.[1]

13% of employees, or nearly 18 million people, felt pressure to compromise their standards at work.

45% of workers, that’s 62 million, have witnessed misconduct at work.

65%, or 40 million, reported the misconduct within their company.

8% of American workers, or more than 11 million people, have witnessed misconduct that could lead to a whistleblower bounty under federal law.

40% of those who reported misconduct, or 16 million, say that, as far as they know, the fraud was never investigated.

22% of those who reported fraud internally, nearly 9 million workers, suffered some form of retaliation.  Fortunately for today’s whistleblowers you need not report fraud internally before approaching a lawyer to help you.

We see a very clear message in this data.  Insiders need protection.


[1] All statistics quoted on this page are from the 2011 National Business Ethics Survey “Workplace Ethics in Transition” – 7th Longitudinal Study of US workplace ethics.

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