Study: Electronics Industry High on Ethics

FRAMINGHAM (08/22/2000) - ) More than three-quarters (82%) of employees in the electronics industry said their supervisors would "never authorize unethical or illegal conduct to meet a business goal," according to a recent survey of technology industry professionals by KPMG Consulting LLC in McLean, Va.

The software sector came in second, with 79% of employees saying they agreed with the statement; the media was third with 74%.

And 62% of electronics employees said they believe the CEO and other executives at their companies would "never authorize unethical or illegal conduct to meet business goals."

The consulting firm's survey was a cross-industry evaluation of business practices. All of the 1,000 participants answered questions that pertained to the way their companies handle business. About 100 respondents represented the electronic industry. The study has a margin of error of 5% to 10%.

The electronics industry includes all hardware manufactures for technology products. It doesn't include software manufacturers and content providers.

Ed Rodriguez, the global industry chairman for KPMG's electronic practice cited the robust economy and shortage of technology employees as reasons for businesses to act more ethically. Employers are striving to keep their employees engaged in sensible business practices, he said.

But, Kazim Isfahani, an analyst at Giga Information Group Inc. in Cambridge, Mass., pointed out that the turnover rate in the technology field is still 15% to 35%, and he said he doesn't think management's ethical business practices are all that important to employees.

Employees value challenging work and a high quality of life he said.

A company's ethical practices have little to do with employee satisfaction or a lower turnover rate, Isfahani added.

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