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Ethical standards yet to improve in India: Survey

78% of Indian respondents said that bribery, corrupt practices occur widely

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

corruption, ethics
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Inconsistency and ambiguity in encouraging high ethical standards and insufficient understanding of compliance programmes have increasingly led employees to justify unethical behaviour at workplace, says a report.

According to EY's (APAC) Fraud survey, 78 per cent of Indian respondents said that bribery and corrupt practices occur widely.

Besides, 57 per cent of respondents said that senior management would ignore unethical behaviour of employees to attain revenue targets.

Moreover, one in every five respondents said that breaches related to ethical standards and regulations are not investigated by organisations. Further, 15 per cent of people surveyed said that organisations have not taken action against employees for breaching ethical standards or regulations.

Besides, 58 per cent of respondents are still willing to work for organisations involved in major bribery or fraud case, lower than (66 per cent) but higher than the average of other nations (49 per cent).

"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 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 leader, fraud investigation and dispute services at

The survey, titled ‘Economic Uncertainty or Unethical Conduct: How Should Over-burdened Compliance Functions Respond?’, said that 78 per cent of respondents believe that bribery and corrupt practices occur widely, while 31 per cent of the respondents surveyed said that they would offer cash payments to win or retain business.

According to the survey, 71 per cent expressed their unwillingness to use whistle-blowing hotlines and 25 per cent said that there is insufficient protection for whistle- blowers.

Further, 18 per cent of people surveyed said that they have had information or concerns but have withheld them due to internal pressure.

However, 44 per cent of respondents said that a report to the organisation's whistle-blowing hotline would be followed up.

The was conducted between November and February among 1,698 employees of multinational corporations and domestic companies in 14 territories — India, mainland China, Hong Kong, Australia, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam.

First Published: Thu, June 15 2017. 02:18 IST