In this special five-part podcast series, I visit with Dr. Pat Harned, President of the Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI), about the organization’s 2021 Global Business Ethics Survey (GBES). Since 1994, ECI has conducted this cross-sectional study of workplace conduct from the employee’s perspective. ECI’s GBES data provides the only global benchmark on the state of ethics and compliance (E&C) in business. This year’s GBES is the first compliance related survey conducted after the global pandemic hit. It has significant information for the compliance professional which they need to consider for every compliance program, literally on a world-wide basis.
While a multitude of factors inﬂuence ethical behavior, the GBES reports interplay of four major ethics outcomes are tied to the daily decisions employees make with respect to how they behave in the workplace. These are: pressure in the workplace to compromise ethical standards; observations of misconduct; reporting misconduct; and, ultimately, the retaliation perceived by employees after they reported misconduct. Some of this year’s findings are quite troubling as they are clearly trending in disturbing directions. Over this series we will review the key findings, how retaliation against whistleblowers has taken an alarming turn, the impact of Covid-19 on compliance, closing with conclusions and recommendations. In Part 2, we consider its key trends.