​Trust in business to behave ethically reaches highest level since 2003, according to survey from the Institute of Business Ethics

‘The Blue Planet Effect’ sees environmental responsibility rise to joint second place as an issue which business needs to address

13th December 2018 :The British public’s opinion of business’s behaviour has improved for the second consecutive year according to the latest survey conducted for the Institute of Business Ethics.

The survey, carried out by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the IBE, shows that the public’s general opinion about ethical business behaviour has reached the highest level since the survey began in 2003.

Nearly two thirds (62%) of the British public now say they consider that business behaves ethically, compared with under half in 2003 (47%).

Millennials show the most positive change in opinion of all the age groups. Over a third (36%) of Baby Boomers (55+) think British Business is behaving unethically, compared with 32% of Generation X-ers (35-54) and 24% of Millennials (18 – 34). For Millennials this is an improvement on 2017, when 36% thought British business was behaving unethically.

Philippa Foster Back CBE, IBE’s Director, said: “As global political uncertainty overshadows much of the news, business in contrast seems to offer stability and appears more responsible in the eyes of the public. Social media means that consumers can see that they are able to have an impact on business decision-making, where they may feel powerless to influence governments.”

The top two issues that the public think business needs to address – tax avoidance (33%) and executive pay (24%) - remain unchanged, but this year environmental responsibility is joint second (24%).

Environmental responsibility has significantly regained focus as an issue for the British public after falling sharply since 2008. The increased media attention given to extreme weather and other consequences of pollution may help partly explain this trend (‘The Blue Planet Effect’).

Philippa Foster Back said: “Business also appears to be becoming more proactive in recognising issues of concern for the public, and going further than the law, for example, in addressing environmental concerns. However, the fact that corporate tax avoidance and executive pay remain the top public concerns – albeit at a reduced percentage - is an example where business is still not doing enough to address ethical issues.”



To obtain jpegs of the infographic, or to organise interviews or articles, please contact Katherine Bradshaw, Head of Communications 07771 517700 k.bradshaw@ibe.org.uk


Attitudes of the British Public to Business Ethics – 2018 Survey

Free Infographic download from www.ibe.org.uk

Published: 13th December 2018

Webinar Thursday 13th December 10:00 GMT Join us for an exclusive webinar with Simon Webley, IBE’s Research Director and Guendalina Dondé, IBE’s Senior Researcher as we take a closer look at 15 years of data of the IBE’s Public Attitudes survey and what it says about the state of business ethics in the UK.


About the Survey

Since 2003, the Institute of Business Ethics has commissioned Ipsos MORI to carry out an annual survey asking British adults their opinion on the ethical behaviour of British business and the issues that most need addressing.

The two questions asked are:

Q1: How ethically do you think British business generally behaves?

Q2: In your view of company behaviour, which two or three of these issues most need addressing?

*In 2014 ‘Sweatshop labour’ was changed to ‘Exploitative labour’.

Research methodology: Change in methodology. In 2016 the study moved from face-to-face interviewing to online surveying. It is acknowledged that studies suggest online surveys elicit more ‘don’t know’ responses compared to face-to-face surveys, as respondents are considered to be more comfortable in saying that they are unsure about something when not responding face-to-face.

The research was conducted on behalf of the IBE by Ipsos MORI. This year, 2,000 GB adults aged 18+ completed an online survey between 4 - 25 October 2018. Data has been weighted to reflect the adult population (18-65) in GB in terms of age, gender, region, class, ethnicity, housing tenure and occupational status.

About the Institute of Business Ethics

The Institute of Business Ethics, whose purpose is to promote high standards of business behaviour based on ethical values, is an important partner to any business wanting to preserve its long-term reputation by doing business in the right way.

For over 30 years, the IBE has advised organisations on how to strengthen their ethical culture by sharing knowledge and good practice, resulting in relationships with employees and stakeholders that are based on trust.

The IBE is a registered charity funded by corporate and individual subscriptions. www.ibe.org.uk @ibeuk

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Institute of Business Ethics, on Thursday 13 December, 2018. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/

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​Trust in business to behave ethically reaches highest level since 2003, according to survey from the Institute of Business Ethics