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Third of managers lie every day

27 September 2013

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More than a third of managers lie at least once per day in the workplace, a survey has shown. 

But the research from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) also shows that managers are more likely than other staff to think it is important to be seen as ethical at work (66% compared to 54%). 

The poll shows that a quarter of workers (25%) tell at least one white lie per day at work. 

However, managers are the worst culprits, with 35% lying at least once per day. 

Ann Francke, CMI chief executive, says: “When it comes to integrity, leading by example is key so managers need to re-focus on principles, not personal gain. We’ve seen company after company fall foul of ethical scandals and the costs can be huge – not only financially, but in the damage that’s done to hard-won reputations. 

“It’s time for employers to step up and confront unethical behaviour and commit to developing management cultures where strong ethics are rewarded.”

The figures show UK workers struggle to negotiate a moral maze when they get to work:

 – Most don’t think their manager sets a good moral example (80.1%)

 – When faced with an ethical dilemma at work, one in five people (18.9%) tackle it by following rules or guidelines

 – 10.3% help themselves to company stock for personal purposes

Francke: “Trust is key to getting the best from people and creating the right culture for business growth – yet most staff distrust their boss’s sense of ethics. No wonder their moral compass can end up pointing in the wrong direction. Organisations have to set clear standards for their employees, and managers have a particular responsibility to take the lead.”