Business ethics no longer just compliance issue, says CIMA
Nearly a third of UK-based finance professionals feel under pressure to compromise their ethical standards, according to a new report from the Chartered Institute of Management Accounts (CIMA).
The third annual ‘Managing Responsible Business’ report, which polled 2,498 professionals across the world, found that the proportion of UK-based workers reporting such pressure jumped from 18% in 2012 to 30% in 2015. Worryingly, a fifth (21%) of respondents agreed those who report concerns about unethical behavior are seen as troublemakers by management.
Tanya Barman, head of ethics at CIMA commented: “The report highlights that we are still struggling to work our way through a crisis of culture within business, and we need to maintain our focus. Our study shows that we can no longer afford to think of ethical performance in business as just a compliance issue.”
The report highlighted that although the majority of organisations have codes of ethics, only 36% of respondents confirmed that their organisations collect ethical management information (EMI). This is despite an increase in demand for data on ethical business practices, particularly from the investor community, 30% of whom are users of EMI.
The report found that countries where members face the highest levels of pressure to compromise professional ethics are Sri Lanka (61%), Malaysia (58%) and Pakistan (54%).
Conversely, respondents in the UK, US and Ireland reported the lowest levels of pressure, but still noted an increase of 12%, 7% and 5% respectively since 2012. India reversed this trend, falling to 45% from 51% in 2012.