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Study Finds Rising Level of Misconduct at Large Companies

Jaclyn Jaeger | August 7, 2012

A recent study of ethics at U.S. Fortune 500 companies holds good news and bad news for compliance officers: Employees are more willing than ever to report wrongdoing, but levels of misconduct and whistleblower retaliation remain high. 

Among the top findings of the survey is that larger companies experienced more misconduct, despite better systems to prevent it. According to the National Business Ethics Survey conducted recently by the Ethics Resource Center, 52 percent of more than 2,100 employees at U.S.-based companies with annual revenues of $5 billion or more said they had observed misconduct in the last year, compared to 45 percent of those surveyed at companies of all sizes who said they did.  

Employees at larger companies were also more likely to report wrongdoing. Of the Fortune 500 respondents who witnessed misconduct, 74 percent reported what they witnessed, compared to 65 percent who did at companies of all sizes.


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