57% employees say senior managers ignore unethical acts for revenue targets: EY survey
New Delhi: All's not well on the ethical front, a survey of cubicle workers in corporate India found.
Employees feel under pressure to withhold information about misconduct, senior managers ignore unethical behaviour to meet corporate targets, and one of every five respondents felt companies don’t investigate ethical breaches, the survey by consulting firm EY said.
A whopping 57% of Indian employees reported that senior management is ready to ignore dubious actions by employees to achieve revenue targets.
According to the India findings of EY’s Asia-Pacific (APAC) Fraud Survey released on Wednesday, one out of four respondents reported that companies did not take action against employees for breaching anti-bribery and anti-corruption policies.
“Fifty eight per cent of Indian respondents are still willing to work for organizations involved in major bribery or fraud case, lower than China (66%) but higher than the average of other APAC nations (49%). Sixty per cent of Indian respondents also stated that organizations are reporting financial performance better than it is,” the report Asia-Pacific (APAC) Fraud Survey, Economic uncertainty or Unethical conduct: How should over-burdened compliance functions respond said.
While 78% Indian employees agreed that bribery and corrupt practices occur widely, 31% said they would offer cash payments to win or retain business.
One in five employees surveyed reported that breaches related to ethical standards and regulations are not investigated by Indian companies, raising concerns about the corporate India’s ethical standards, Mukul Shrivastava, partner, Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services, EY India told Mint.
“Most companies believe in checking-the-box exercise, rather than going after the real problem. Companies are not investigating even the reported cases efficiently. We have seen that companies that follow a holistic procedure to investigate and dispose frauds are outperforming those who don’t take the right course to dispose of frauds,” Shrivastava said.
Between November 2016 and February 2017, EY’s researchers Ipsos, the global market research agency, conducted 1,698 interviews with employees of multinational corporations and domestic companies in 14 APAC territories.
According to the global edition of the survey, the Asia Pacific region has registered a 6% rise in the number of organizations with whistle-blowing hotline programmes – up from 55% in 2015 to 61% (2017) and three out of five respondents reported that their companies have hotlines in place, after some countries like India introduced legislative requirements for whistle-blower provisions.
The special feature on India within the global survey revealed 47% of respondents feel under pressure to withhold information about misconduct and 44% of respondents in organizations where a hotline was in place say they would not use the system. Of these, more than half are concerned about insufficient legal protection and a third doesn’t believe their report would be treated confidentially.