SECTION 9:

 

FOCUS ON BUSINESS LEADERS

 

FOR THREE YEARS

 

 

SECTION 9:

 

FOCUS ON BUSINESS LEADERS

FOR THREE YEARS

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

 

 

In this section, the focus is only on the business leaders for all three years.  Table 9A presents a summary version of the information for each of the 47 attitudinal questions.  For each question, the percent that agreed with each statement is given.  In addition, the average response (low is positive) and the standard deviation for each question are provided.  The number of responses completes the information for each group for each question.  Questions 30 to 38 are given at the end of the table since their answers should have reflected “to what extent” instead of a SA to SD perspective.  See Table 9B for a clearer understanding of these questions.  Table 9B gives the percentage of respondents who either Strongly Agreed, Agree, gave No Opinion, Disagreed or Strongly Disagreed for each question. 

 

 

 

ANALYSIS

 

 

 

 One can examine the differences in the actual responses in these two tables depending upon his or her interest in the particular question and/or group.  A detailed analysis of the information in this section is beyond the scope of the project

 

 

TABLE 9A.     FOR EACH OF THE THREE STUDIES, PERCENT OF THE BUSINESS LEADERS AGREEING
                             WITH EACH STATEMENT     (1=SA;  5=SD)
Q# QUESTION Year Type % Agree Mean Std. Dev. n=
1 The corporation has a responsibility to take the lead in solving major social problems such as pollution, discrimination, and safety. 2003 Business Leaders 76% 2.1 1.0 66
1988 Business Leaders 76% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 70% NI NI 119
 
2 The corporation has a responsibility to not become involved in solving social problems unless doing so becomes a cost of doing business or the opportunity to earn a profit. 2003 Business Leaders 11% 4.0 1.0 66
1988 Business Leaders 11% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 26% NI NI 119
 
3 The corporation has the responsibility to get involved in social responsibility projects because outside pressures make such  an involvement a cost of doing business. 2003 Business Leaders 35% 3.1 0.9 66
1988 Business Leaders 46% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 42% NI NI 119
 
4 The corporation has a responsibility to promote equal opportunity in hiring and promotion. 2003 Business Leaders 99% 1.3 0.5 66
1988 Business Leaders 97% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 97% NI NI 119
 
5 The corporation has a responsibility to promote conservation of energy even if doing so means a reduction in profits. 2003 Business Leaders 71% 2.4 1.0 66
1988 Business Leaders 67% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 67% NI NI 119
 
6 The corporation has a responsibility to conserve natural resources, even if doing so means a reduction in profits. 2003 Business Leaders 70% 2.4 1.0 66
1988 Business Leaders 74% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 67% NI NI 119
7 The corporation has a responsibility to clean up or avoid causing air, noise, and water pollution even if doing so means a reduction in profits. 2003 Business Leaders 92% 1.9 0.8 66
1988 Business Leaders 93% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 86% NI NI 119
 
8 The corporation has a responsibility to contribute money and management time to civic activities in communities where the firm has plants or offices. 2003 Business Leaders 88% 1.7 0.9 66
1988 Business Leaders 90% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 90% NI NI 119
 
9 The corporation has a responsibility to help minority owned businesses. 2003 Business Leaders 56% 2.6 1.1 66
1988 Business Leaders 43% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 38% NI NI 119
 
10 The corporation has a responsibility to be truthful in advertising. 2003 Business Leaders 99% 1.2 0.4 66
1988 Business Leaders 99% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 70% NI NI 119
 
11 The typical business executive has two sets of ethical standards, one which he/she applies to business activities and another which is applied to his/her private life. 2003 Business Leaders 12% 4.3 1.0 66
1988 Business Leaders 16% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 20% NI NI 119
 
12 Ethical standards in business are lower than in government. 2003 Business Leaders 11% 4.2 0.9 66
1988 Business Leaders 5% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 3% NI NI 119
 
13 Ethical standards in business are lower than in most religious organizations. 2003 Business Leaders 28% 3.5 1.2 66
1988 Business Leaders 29% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 29% NI NI 119
 
14 Ethical standards in business are lower than in the typical American family. 2003 Business Leaders 19% 3.8 1.1 66
1988 Business Leaders 15% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 16% NI NI 119
15 The ethical standards used in business are as high as those practiced with family and friends. 2003 Business Leaders 67% 2.5 0.9 66
1988 Business Leaders 93% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 94% NI NI 119
 
16 Occasionally, business people make decisions that are right for business but which are inconsistent with their personal ethical principles. 2003 Business Leaders 67% 2.5 0.9 66
1988 Business Leaders 93% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 94% NI NI 119
 
17 Much advertising done by business is misleading to the consumer. 2003 Business Leaders 29% 3.3 1.0 66
1988 Business Leaders 39% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 23% NI NI 119
 
18 Effective advertising may have to be somewhat misleading.   2003 Business Leaders 8% 4.1 0.8 66
1988 Business Leaders 8% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 9% NI NI 119
 
19 It is in the long run self-interest of business to protect the customer. 2003 Business Leaders 91% 1.8 0.8 66
1988 Business Leaders 96% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 98% NI NI 119
 
20 The average customer is less ethical in dealing with business than the business is in dealing with that customer. 2003 Business Leaders 31% 3.1 1.0 66
1988 Business Leaders 42% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 53% NI NI 119
 
21 No employee should be required to engage in business practices that employee considers unethical. 2003 Business Leaders 87% 1.7 0.9 66
1988 Business Leaders 87% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 89% NI NI 119
 
22 In accepting an employment offer each employee implicitly agrees to abide by the ethical standards of the employer, even if the company standards differ from those of the employee. 2003 Business Leaders 53% 2.8 1.2 66
1988 Business Leaders 51% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 42% NI NI 119
23 Wages and salaries should vary according to an employee’s productivity.  2003 Business Leaders 88% 1.8 0.8 66
1988 Business Leaders 96% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 94% NI NI 119
 
24 Wages and salaries should vary according to both the employee’s productivity and years of service with the firm. 2003 Business Leaders 49% 2.9 1.1 66
1988 Business Leaders 48% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 53% NI NI 119
25 Wages and salaries should vary primarily with the employee's years of service with the firm. 2003 Business Leaders 3% 4.2 0.7 66
1988 Business Leaders 4% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 1% NI NI 119
 
26 Labor unions serve a useful purpose by prodding a particular management into fulfilling its responsibilities to labor. 2003 Business Leaders 29% 3.6 1.2 66
1988 Business Leaders 26% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 21% NI NI 119
 
27 The corporation should seek to maximize short run profits. 2003 Business Leaders 29% 3.4 1.2 66
1988 Business Leaders 13% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 15% NI NI 119
 
28 The corporation should seek to earn a satisfactory rate of return for stockholders. 2003 Business Leaders 99% 1.5 0.5 66
1988 Business Leaders 98% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 100% NI NI 119
 
29 The ethical standards in competition are determined by the least ethical competitor.  If one firm engages in unethical conduct, the others will have to follow to survive. 2003 Business Leaders 0% 4.5 0.6 66
1988 Business Leaders 6% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 5% NI NI 119
 
39 All institutions in our society should seek to protect and promote the interests of individuals. 2003 Business Leaders 34% 3.1 1.0 65
1988 Business Leaders 76% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 77% NI NI 119
40 Individual freedom may have to be partly restricted in order for organizations to effectively function. 2003 Business Leaders 56% 2.7 1.1 66
1988 Business Leaders 70% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 84% NI NI 119
 
41 Government should redistribute income in order to assure a minimum standard of living for all citizens. 2003 Business Leaders 23% 3.7 1.1 66
1988 Business Leaders 15% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 12% NI NI 119
 
42 Government should provide incentives for business to get involved in solving social problems.  2003 Business Leaders 55% 2.8 1.1 66
1988 Business Leaders 61% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 54% NI NI 119
  
43 Truth in lending regulations are needed to protect the customer. 2003 Business Leaders 86% 2.0 0.8 66
1988 Business Leaders 78% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 68% NI NI 119
 
44 Antitrust laws prohibiting price fixing benefit the customer.  2003 Business Leaders 85% 2.1 0.8 66
1988 Business Leaders 79% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 68% NI NI 119
 
45 Lazy or incompetent employees should be fired. 2003 Business Leaders 86% 1.9 0.9 66
1988 Business Leaders 81% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 84% NI NI 119
 
46 A company should have formal policies to guarantee that every employee has an equal opportunity for promotion, pay increases, and other rewards provided by the firm. 2003 Business Leaders 86% 1.8 1.0 66
1988 Business Leaders 91% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 89% NI NI 119
 
47 The corporation should seek to maximize long run profits.  2003 Business Leaders 93% 1.7 0.8 66
1988 Business Leaders 96% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 94% NI NI 119
 
30 To what extent are ethical standards influenced by peer group pressures? 2003 Business Leaders 55% 2.8 1.0 64
1988 Business Leaders 84% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 82% NI NI 119
 
31 To what extent are ethical standards influenced by prevailing industry practice? 2003 Business Leaders 66% 2.6 1.0 64
1988 Business Leaders 70% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 70% NI NI 119
 
32 To what extent are ethical standards influenced by perceived preference of top executives? 2003 Business Leaders 81% 2.2 0.9 64
1988 Business Leaders 82% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 74% NI NI 119
 
33 To what extent are ethical standards influenced by family experiences?  2003 Business Leaders 83% 2.2 0.8 64
1988 Business Leaders 93% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 92% NI NI 119
 
34 To what extent are ethical standards influenced by church experiences? 2003 Business Leaders 74% 2.4 0.9 64
1988 Business Leaders 74% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 84% NI NI 119
 
35 To what extent are ethical standards influenced by your educational experiences?  2003 Business Leaders 83% 2.2 0.7 64
1988 Business Leaders 87% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 87% NI NI 119
 
36 To what extent are ethical standards influenced by company's ethical code or policy? 2003 Business Leaders 90% 1.9 0.8 64
1988 Business Leaders 89% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 90% NI NI 119
 
37 To what extent are ethical standards influenced by professional ethical code? 2003 Business Leaders 85% 2.0 0.8 64
1988 Business Leaders 88% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 92% NI NI 119
38 To what extent are ethical standards influenced by society's moral climate?  2003 Business Leaders 75% 2.3 0.9 64
1988 Business Leaders 80% NI NI 138
1983 Business Leaders 73% NI NI 119

Source:       2003 Study of Ethics

 

 

 

TABLE 9B.       FOR EACH OF THE THREE STUDIES, PERCENT OF THE BUSINESS LEADERS PROVIDING
                               THEIR DEGREE OF AGREEMENT WITH EACH STATEMENT (1=SA; 5=SD)
Q# QUESTION Year Type %SA %A %NO %D %SD n=
   1 The corporation has a responsibility to take the lead in solving major social problems such as pollution, discrimination, and safety. 2003 Bus. Leaders 29 47 12 9 3 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 20 56 5 17 2 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 13 57 5 21 3 119
 
   2 The corporation has a responsibility to not become involved in solving social problems unless doing so becomes a cost of doing business or the opportunity to earn a profit. 2003 Bus. Leaders 3 8 8 52 30 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 2 9 7 69 12 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 3 23 5 56 12 119
 
   3 The corporation has the responsibility to get involved in social responsibility projects because outside pressures make such  an involvement a cost of doing business. 2003 Bus. Leaders 2 33 21 42 2 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 1 45 8 44 2 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 4 38 13 41 3 119
 
   4 The corporation has a responsibility to promote equal opportunity in hiring and promotion. 2003 Bus. Leaders 76 23 0 2 0 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 35 62 2 1 0 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 31 66 0 2 0 119
 
   5 The corporation has a responsibility to promote conservation of energy even if doing so means a reduction in profits. 2003 Bus. Leaders 15 56 8 18 3 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 9 58 15 17 1 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 9 58 14 15 3 119
 
   6 The corporation has a responsibility to conserve natural resources, even if doing so means a reduction in profits. 2003 Bus. Leaders 11 59 11 15 5 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 15 59 16 9 1 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 10 57 17 12 3 119
 
   7 The corporation has a responsibility to clean up or avoid causing air, noise, and water pollution even if doing so means a reduction in profits. 2003 Bus. Leaders 26 66 2 5 2 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 19 74 4 3 0 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 14 72 6 6 1 119
   8 The corporation has a responsibility to contribute money and management time to civic activities in communities where the firm has plants or offices. 2003 Bus. Leaders 53 35 6 5 2 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 25 65 4 7 0 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 26 64 5 4 0 119
 
   9 The corporation has a responsibility to help minority owned businesses. 2003 Bus. Leaders 14 42 24 15 5 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 5 38 25 30 3 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 6 32 26 30 5 119
 
10 The corporation has a responsibility to be truthful in advertising. 2003 Bus. Leaders 85 14 2 0 0 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 54 45 1 1 0 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 13 57 5 21 3 119
 
11 The typical business executive has two sets of ethical standards, one which he/she applies to business activities and another which is applied to his/her private life. 2003 Bus. Leaders 0 12 2 33 53 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 6 10 5 52 27 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 3 17 3 43 33 119
 
12 Ethical standards in business are lower than in government. 2003 Bus. Leaders 0 11 5 44 41 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 1 4 3 42 50 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 1 2 3 36 59 119
 
13 Ethical standards in business are lower than in most religious organizations. 2003 Bus. Leaders 5 23 15 32 26 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 4 25 14 44 12 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 0 29 21 39 10 119
 
14 Ethical standards in business are lower than in the typical American family. 2003 Bus. Leaders 2 17 11 45 26 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 4 11 14 58 13 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 0 16 11 60 12 119
15 The ethical standards used in business are as high as those practiced with family and friends. 2003 Bus. Leaders 6 61 9 24 0 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 38 55 3 2 2 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 37 57 3 3 0 119
 
16 Occasionally, business people make decisions that are right for business but which are inconsistent with their personal ethical principles. 2003 Bus. Leaders 6 53 6 29 6 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 1 12 4 52 30 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 3 16 1 59 20 119
 
17 Much advertising done by business is misleading to the consumer. 2003 Bus. Leaders 3 26 15 53 3 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 7 32 10 46 5 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 3 20 10 50 17 119
 
18 Effective advertising may have to be somewhat misleading.   2003 Bus. Leaders 0 8 8 56 29 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 0 8 6 60 26 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 2 7 6 63 22 119
 
19 It is in the long run self-interest of business to protect the customer. 2003 Bus. Leaders 35 56 3 6 0 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 53 43 3 1 1 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 48 50 1 1 0 119
 
20 The average customer is less ethical in dealing with business than the business is in dealing with that customer. 2003 Bus. Leaders 5 26 30 33 6 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 9 33 22 33 2 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 12 41 22 24 1 119
 
21 No employee should be required to engage in business practices that employee considers unethical. 2003 Bus. Leaders 55 32 5 9 0 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 43 44 4 7 1 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 42 47 3 8 1 119
 
22 In accepting an employment offer each employee implicitly
agrees to abide by the ethical standards of the employer,
even if the company standards differ from those of the employee.
2003 Bus. Leaders 14 39 12 27 8 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 7 44 9 34 6 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 7 35 13 36 9 119
 
23 Wages and salaries should vary according to an employee’s
productivity. 
2003 Bus. Leaders 36 52 6 6 0 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 34 62 1 3 1 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 38 56 6 0 0 119
 
24 Wages and salaries should vary according to both the employee’s
productivity and years of service with the firm.
2003 Bus. Leaders 8 41 11 35 6 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 5 43 5 39 8 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 11 42 14 28 5 119
 
25 Wages and salaries should vary primarily with the employee's
years of service with the firm.
2003 Bus. Leaders 0 3 6 61 30 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 2 2 3 42 50 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 0 1 4 53 42 119
 
26 Labor unions serve a useful purpose by prodding a particular
management into fulfilling its responsibilities to labor.
2003 Bus. Leaders 3 26 9 33 29 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 1 25 9 41 23 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 1 20 9 44 27 119
 
27 The corporation should seek to maximize short run profits. 2003 Bus. Leaders 8 21 11 44 17 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 1 12 7 53 28 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 1 14 9 56 20 119
 
28 The corporation should seek to earn a satisfactory rate of
return for stockholders.
2003 Bus. Leaders 52 47 2 0 0 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 39 59 1 1 0 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 37 63 0 0 0 119
 
29 The ethical standards in competition are determined by the least
ethical competitor.  If one firm engages in unethical conduct,
the others will have to follow to survive.
2003 Bus. Leaders 0 0 3 49 49 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 3 3 2 59 33 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 2 3 2 56 36 119
 
39 All institutions in our society should seek to protect and promote the interests of individuals. 2003 Bus. Leaders 2 32 25 37 5 65
1988 Bus. Leaders 23 53 11 13 1 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 26 51 6 18 0 119
 
40 Individual freedom may have to be partly restricted in order for
organizations to effectively function.
2003 Bus. Leaders 6 50 14 24 6 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 13 57 6 18 6 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 16 68 3 12 1 119
 
41 Government should redistribute income in order to assure a
minimum standard of living for all citizens.
2003 Bus. Leaders 2 21 11 38 29 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 2 13 6 38 42 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 3 9 6 30 52 119
42 Government should provide incentives for business to get
involved in solving social problems. 
2003 Bus. Leaders 8 47 14 26 6 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 14 47 13 18 7 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 9 45 14 25 6 119
 
43 Truth in lending regulations is needed to protect the customer. 2003 Bus. Leaders 21 65 6 6 2 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 11 67 7 15 0 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 3 65 9 18 5 119
 
44 Antitrust laws prohibiting price fixing benefit the customer.  2003 Bus. Leaders 20 65 8 6 2 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 13 66 7 12 1 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 4 64 8 20 3 119
 
45 Lazy or incompetent employees should be fired. 2003 Bus. Leaders 33 53 5 9 0 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 45 36 1 15 2 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 42 42 3 12 1 119
46 A company should have formal policies to guarantee that every
employee has an equal opportunity for promotion, pay increases, and other rewards provided by the firm.
2003 Bus. Leaders 44 42 8 2 5 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 31 60 4 3 1 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 35 54 5 5 1 119
 
47 The corporation should seek to maximize long run profits.  2003 Bus. Leaders 46 47 3 5 0 66
1988 Bus. Leaders 45 51 2 1 1 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 41 53 2 3 0 119
 
30 To what extent are ethical standards influenced by peer group
pressures?
2003 Bus. Leaders 2 53 13 28 5 64
1988 Bus. Leaders 28 56 4 8 4 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 21 61 3 11 3 119
 
31 To what extent are ethical standards influenced by prevailing
industry practice?
2003 Bus. Leaders 3 63 8 25 2 64
1988 Bus. Leaders 11 59 7 20 3 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 9 61 7 21 1 119
 
32 To what extent are ethical standards influenced by perceived
preference of top executives?
2003 Bus. Leaders 17 64 6 9 3 64
1988 Bus. Leaders 25 57 5 10 3 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 20 54 8 14 3 119
 
33 To what extent are ethical standards influenced by family
experiences? 
2003 Bus. Leaders 8 75 6 9 2 64
1988 Bus. Leaders 61 32 4 3 0 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 49 43 2 4 1 119
 
34 To what extent are ethical standards influenced by church
experiences?
2003 Bus. Leaders 8 66 10 14 2 64
1988 Bus. Leaders 39 35 14 11 1 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 36 48 7 7 1 119
 
35 To what extent are ethical standards influenced by your
educational experiences? 
2003 Bus. Leaders 8 75 9 6 2 64
1988 Bus. Leaders 26 61 5 7 0 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 29 58 3 9 0 119
 
36 To what extent are ethical standards influenced by company's
ethical code or policy?
2003 Bus. Leaders 27 63 3 6 2 64
1988 Bus. Leaders 27 62 4 6 1 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 26 64 3 7 0 119
 
37 To what extent are ethical standards influenced by professional
ethical code?
2003 Bus. Leaders 27 58 8 8 0 64
1988 Bus. Leaders 48 40 4 5 2 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 53 39 4 3 0 119
 
38 To what extent are ethical standards influenced by society's moral climate?  2003 Bus. Leaders 8 67 9 14 2 64
1988 Bus. Leaders 20 60 4 13 3 138
1983 Bus. Leaders 16 57 9 16 1 119

Source:                  2003 Study of Ethics