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Majority of employees for unethical behaviour: Survey

Mumbai, June 14 

Indian employees are increasingly justifying unethical behaviour at workplace with a majority believing the management would ignore it to accomplish revenue targets, an Ernst & Young survey said on Wednesday.

"Inconsistency and ambiguity in encouraging high ethical standards and insufficient understanding of compliance programmes have increasingly led employees to justify unethical behaviour at the workplace," said EY's Asia-Pacific (APAC) Fraud Survey.

The survey highlighted that ethical leadership has emerged worrisome in India and China alike, with 57 per cent stating that senior management tends to overlook dubious actions of employees to attain corporate targets.

As many as 58 per cent of Indian respondents said they are willing to work for firms involved in a major bribery or fraud case, while 60 per cent said organisations are reporting financial performance better than what is.

"The prevalence of fraud and corrupt practices and gaps in demonstrating principled leadership by senior management can become a hindrance in organisations' quest to build compliant workplaces and retain talent. 

"Businesses in emerging economies such as India will need to rethink their approach toward corporate governance, take action against individual misconduct and reinforce commitment to make compliance programmes more visible, resilient and technologically-led," said Arpinder Singh, Partner and National Leader, Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services, EY India.

Justifying fraud, corruption and unethical behaviour, 78 per cent of respondents said bribery and corrupt practices occur widely while 31 per cent said they would offer cash payments to win or retain business.


Seventy one per cent expressed their unwillingness to use whistle-blowing hotlines with 25 per cent saying there is insufficient protection for whistle-blowers while 15 per cent believe their report will not be treated confidentially.

Also, seven per cent said they are afraid that reporting will have a negative impact on their careers, the survey noted.

The survey was carried out between November 2016 and February 2017.


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