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Ethics & Employee Loyalty – New Study

Thursday, 28th May 2009 at 2:13 pm
Staff Reporter
A survey by Beaton Consulting and Not for Profit organisation, the St James Ethics Centre has found a link between an employer's approach to ethics, and productivity and loyalty of its employees.

Thursday, 28th May 2009
at 2:13 pm
Staff Reporter



Ethics & Employee Loyalty – New Study
Thursday, 28th May 2009 at 2:13 pm

A survey by Beaton Consulting and Not for Profit organisation, the St James Ethics Centre has found a link between an employer’s approach to ethics, and productivity and loyalty of its employees.

The online study, which surveyed over 15,000 individuals in professional roles, found that employees give significant thought to ethical issues in their everyday working life and deal with ethical dilemmas regularly.

And more importantly their attitudes have a significant impact on their intentions with respect to both discretionary effort and loyalty to the organisation.

Key statistics:
• Less than 1% of individuals believe that business has no ethical obligations, or that legal compliance is the only ethical obligation of businesses
• 84% of individuals believe being responsible environmentally is included in the definition of business ethics
• A staggering 93% of individuals believe that organisations have an obligation to act ethically even if it occasionally harms their profits
• And 91% agree that all organisations should make a formal commitment to acting ethically.
• 80% of individuals agree that they are willing to put in extra effort at work if they know that their organisation is run ethically
• 77% agree that if their employer acted in a way that contradicted their core principles, they would definitely leave the organisation
• One in four individuals believe their employer is not doing enough to promote ethical behaviour
• One in four individuals experience people behaving unethically towards one another in their organisation
• One in four individuals believe that their organisation’s employees would not adhere to the code of ethics if they thought that profits or funding would be harmed.

Rosemary Sainty, the Head of the Responsible Business Project at St James Ethics Centre, says the obligations of businesses and other organisations are no longer seen in isolation from the communities in which they operate, the employees they depend upon, the environment from which they draw their resources and the marketplace in which they participate.

Dr George Beaton, Executive Chairman of Beaton Consulting explained the background to the survey saying that each year Beaton Consulting donates research to a Not for Profit organisation as part of its Annual Business and Professions Study and chose St James Ethics Centre to work with.

According to the Centre’s Dr Simon Longstaff, the report has come at a pivotal time in history.

He says this report shows people really do care about the ethics of their employers – and of the institutions within which they work.

He says organisations need to become far more serious about embedding and integrating ethics into the operating fabric of day-to-day decision making. Performance in this area should be measured and reported.

The release of the report coincides with the officially launch of a new St James Ethics Centre website called the HUB of Responsible Business Practice at

The development of the website was made possible via funding from the Federal Government, through Treasury, and has been designed as a consolidated space for engagement, interaction and connectivity to help build communities of responsible business practice in Australia.

It houses a range of initiatives including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the United Nations Global Compact, the Corporate Responsibility Index (CRI)and will shortly house a range of tools and resources (Register of Responsible Business Practice, product road-map tools and place-based initiative case studies) being developed as a part of the National SME Project.

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