Jul 31, 2008

Business - Kolkata tops in "ethics at workplace" survey

Nearly 45 per cent people in the corporate workforce in eight Indian cities don’t bat an eyelid while logging incorrect entry/exit times, 46.8 per cent feel using the office telephone for personal long distance calls is fine.
Around 60 per cent people lie while applying for leave, support making tall promises to clients or consider it is ethical to take printouts and photocopies at office for personal work. More than 62 per cent are okay with doing personal wok during office hours.
These are amongst the findings of a survey, the fourth in the ‘World of Work’ series, commissioned by staffing company TeamLease Services, to understand the changing scenario at workplaces in India, and released today. The study titled ‘Nothing Ethical about Ethics’ presents views of the corporate workforce on ‘Workplace Ethics’ across New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Pune.
Among the cities reviewed, Kolkata emerged as the city most sensitive to unethical behaviour with an ‘ethics index’ of 76, Delhi stood at 53 and Ahmedabad at 21.
According to the report, 74 per cent of Ahmedabadis disagree that falsifying entry and exit times is unethical. In Kolkata, Delhi and Hyderabad, 78 per cent respondents held it unethical.
Fudging expense report is routine in most cities except in Kolkata which recorded the highest response against it. Seventy five per cent respondents from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune (apart from Ahmedabad) conceded they lied to take leave, and did not consider it unethical. However, almost 78 per cent of the Kolkata workforce differed on this.
Amongst the other findings, taking credit for subordinate’s ideas is not unethical said Ahmedabad and Bangalore; the other six cities differ with an average score of 42 per cent. One in every four respondents in Chennai reported mobile/wallet thefts at the workplace.
Around 96 per cent of the respondents would not shy away from directly confronting an unethical colleague. Ahmedabad is more likely to speak to the colleague’s supervisor, while Kolkata is least likely to adopt this indirect way. Pune strongly believes in ‘whistle-blowing’ while protecting identity.
One-third respondents in Bangalore, Delhi and Hyderabad are unaware of their company’s ethical policy, while those in Mumbai and Chennai were better informed on this count.
While no single solution to check unethical behaviour emerged, respondents in Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai felt that having open-lines of communication would help check it. Those in Delhi and Ahmedabad felt flexible work schedules would curtail it.
A structured questionnaire was administered using a mix of telephonic and computer-aided-telephonic-interviewing (CATI) technology, to working men and women across all levels from the top 500 companies in India for a sample size of 401. The study was conducted by research firm Synovate during May and June 2008.

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