Implementing ethical standards is increasingly becoming a challenge for strategic corporate leadership. On a panel discussion in London on July 5th, 2018, LEIZ Managing Director, Dr Lennart Brand left little doubt that the findings of the new “Ethics at Work” report of the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) should be a call to action. Employees, the report finds, are often left alone with challenges of an ethical nature.
The “Ethics at Work 2018” report was published by the IBE in cooperation with Zeppelin University’s Leadership Excellence Institute Zeppelin | LEIZ and other international partners. The report rests on a survey that was completed by a total of 6,119 respondents across the eight European countries. It was comprised of a representative sample of about 750 working adults in each country who were aged 18+.
LEIZ Director, Prof Josef Wieland explained: “This report is innovative in two ways. For one thing, it the only study worldwide that investigates ethics and integrity on the employee level. That puts leadership firmly at the centre of the debate by focusing the relationship between leaders and followers and asking what it is that followers experience and think. For another thing, the study provides a comparison between European countries with regard to values and corporate culture. That, too, has not been done before.”
The study shows the significance of leaders for the corporate culture. “People follow their leaders, and managers play a key role in defining an organisation’s ethical culture,” says Philippa Foster Back CBE, Director of the IBE. “Organisations need to make sure that managers especially are trained and supported in ethical decision-making, especially as pressure on all employees increases in the current climate.”
The survey data highlights the importance and impact of corporate ethics programmes. Employees who work in what the IBE identifies as a ‘supportive environment for ethics’ tend to have a higher opinion of honesty in their organisation; a more positive view of their line manager’s behaviour; are less likely to have been aware of misconduct at work; and are more likely to have spoken up about misconduct if they have.
The full report is available here.
Dr Lennart Brand
Managing Director | Leadership Excellence Institute Zeppelin
+49 (0)7541 6009 1144