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Smart Businesses Noticing Return on Investment in Ethics

Ethical Systems had another mention in the press earlier this week, courtesy of contributor David Mayer, who was interviewed for an article regarding the latest report from the Ethics Resource Center on the decline of workplace misconduct.

The ERC's National Business Ethics Survey is still making headlines, in part because some observers of business trends are surprised that unethical behavior has continued to decrease even in the presence of a stock market rebound. But the data only reinforce our firmly held belief--backed up by research--that good ethics is good business. As Tim Mazur, chief operating officer of the Ethics and Compliance Officer Association, put it: "Smart business people are starting to notice that there is a return on their investment in ethics and compliance programs." In the wake of the global financial crisis and many large and notable ethical crashes in the world of business, people have begun to realize that there are long-term benefits to consciously fostering an ethical climate--not only for a company's reputation in the public eye but for the productivity of its employees and the satisfaction of all stakeholders whose activities have an influence on the firm's fortunes.

We are encouraged by the continued attention paid to these developments and believe that further research will bear out the view that this trend is ongoing and beneficial to society as a whole. Our hope is that, in time, the science of ethical systems design will have a reverberating impact throughout the business community and ultimately shift the public conversation on the role of business in our lives.