Could we have finally found a good reason for the recession? According to an article in the New Jersey Law Journal workers act more ethically during a bad economy.
A study released on November 18, 2009, by the non-profit Ethics Resource Center “employees are witnessing better behavior in the workplace since the start of the recession in 2007. The results of the study are:
• 49% of employees reported witnessing misconduct on the job, compared to 56% in the 2007 survey.
• 63% of employees said they had reported misconduct when they observed it, compared to 58% in 2007.
• 7% of workers said they had observed instances of sexual harassment, down from 10% in 2007.
• 14% saw discrimination in the workplace, similar to 13% in 2007, but more of them — 44% — reported it.
• Overall, the perceived pressure to commit an ethics violation declined from 10% two years ago to 8%.
The report suggests that employers stay alert for economic improvements. It appears that this spike in employee ethics has a similar pattern to a studies performed during the bursting of the dot-com bubble and the attacks of 9/11.
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