Indiana Business Council

The pulse of Hoosier business.



2014 Business Ethics

A report about perceptions of ethics in the workforce.

February 2014


Business Confidence Index

2013 Business Confidence drops to 60%

Indiana’s Business Confidence Index is at 60 percent – remaining fairly low. The Council indicates their confidence remains low as we begin 2014. Started in December 2010, the Index is a measure of the overall confidence Indiana business leaders and employees have in their company’s opportunity for growth and success in the coming 6 months.

Indiana What Did Hoosiers Say?

Perceptions of business ethics are very positive

Loyalty MatrixAlmost nine out of ten employees believe their organization
is highly ethical. 87% believe Senior Leaders are people of
high personal integrity and 85% believe their organization’s
commitment to integrity has been clearly communicated.

Only 14% know of or suspect an ethical violation at work. The most frequently mentioned violations are:

Lying on reports or falsifying records 49%
Conflicts of interest 49%
Lying to supervisors 43%
Unfair treatment of employees 38%

Of those who know of or suspected a violation, 68% reported the violation, which is ideal.


The most frequently mentioned reasons why someone didn’t report the violation:

Fear of retaliation from management 54%
Did not feel the organization would respond 46%
No anonymous or confidential way to report 43%


When comparing scores of those who are loyal to the company versus those that are at risk for leaving, there is a different story. Virtually all of the loyal employees feel their organization is highly ethical versus just over half (58%) of those at risk for leaving feel the organization is highly ethical. A similar story emerges when you look at perceptions of senior leaders being people of high personal integrity, almost all of the loyal employees are positive but less than half (48%) of those at risk feel positive.

Indiana What it means?

Overall organizations in Indiana are doing a great job of being highly ethical. However, there seems to be enough ethical issues out there that it is may be hurting the loyalty of the employees. It is hard to say if someone is not loyal because of an ethical issue or if they are not loyal and thus view the organization through a negative lens. However, Walker has done other research that has shown that perceptions of ethics does drive loyalty and a common reason for leaving an organization is an unethical work environment.

Organizations should continue to strive to run their organizations with a high degree of ethics and communicate this importance to the employees. Organizations should also ensure they have vehicles employees can use to anonymously report violations. What is encouraging is two-thirds of those who saw a violation reported the violation. Walker has never conducted a survey where no employees have seen or suspect a violation so it is important that organization provide vehicles to report these violations.



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