On the positive side, the overwhelming majority of\n\nexecutives and managers consider the internal and external dealings at\n\ntheir organizations to be ethical, with more than two-thirds saying\n\nthey are extremely ethical.\n\nHowever, when those same business leaders rank business in general\n\ncompared to five years ago, only about one-fifth said internal and\n\nexternal dealings were extremely ethical.\n\nSignificantly fewer managers than executives consider business dealings\n\ntoday to be extremely ethical, according to a nationwide survey of\n\nsenior executives and managers we conducted.\n\nThere is substantially more public awareness of questionable\n\npractices inside businesses these days, causing many companies to\n\neither establish or highlight internal controls.\n\n"The corporate corruption cases of the last few years have created an\n\nenvironment of businesses instituting ethical practices," said one\n\nsurvey respondent. "Also, government regulations have created a reason\n\nfor companies to have better due diligence in this area."\n\n"There is more awareness of ethics in business and it is\n\nseeping into the boardroom," said another respondent. "Converting this\n\nto action is not as evident."\n\nThis heightened public awareness increases the accountability\n\nof businesses, requiring the leaders of those businesses to increase\n\ntheir own internal focus on ethical behavior.\n\n"The incidents over the last couple of years\n\nhave awakened the market," said one respondent. "Anyone expecting to\n\nattract and retain consumers and employees must be sensitive to\n\nbuilding and strengthening their brand from an ethical (trusted) point\n\nof view or risk alienation and diminishing returns."\n\nThe attention to improving ethics is not only the\n\nresponsibility of the experienced managers and executives currently\n\nworking, but will increasingly fall on the next generation of managers\n\nnow completing their education.\n\n"The ethics are swinging back to what they should be, and\n\nhopefully the younger generation and recent college graduates will\n\nraise the bar from where it has been the past 10 years," said one\n\nrespondent. \n\nSaid another: "External environment and change in CEO has forced our\n\nfinancial services firm into a new phase in its existence. Increased\n\nconcern with ethics has been a positive outcome of the recent changes."\n\n\n\n\n\nAny successful internal or external dealings or activities are like any good relationship; they are based on trust.\n\n\n\n"Unfortunately, the lapse of ethical behavior by senior\n\nmanagement in both for profit companies and in some large\n\nnot-for-profit organizations have had a significant negative impact on\n\nall business enterprises, charities and associations," said one\n\nrespondent. "It will take a lot of hard work to win back the trust of\n\nthe public." \n\nIt\u2019s time for those business leaders who haven\u2019t already done so to do\n\nthat hard work and put ethics and accountability where they belong: at\n\nthe top of the value chain.