Corporate India's ethical challenges accelerated due to COVID-19 pandemic

Corporate India's ethical challenges accelerated due to COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the risk of unethical conduct in corporate India as businesses witness severe and widespread disruption in operations, supply chains and workforce, reveals EY’s Global Integrity Survey 2020.


Some of the greatest risks to ethical business conduct due to the pandemic are declining financial performance (37%), disruption to traditional working patterns (36%), reduced focus on ethical behaviour from senior management (34%) and weakening compliance processes and controls (20%).


About 98% believe that disruption, as a result of COVID-19, poses a risk to ethical business conduct and 76% say maintaining integrity standards in periods of rapid change or difficult market conditions is challenging for organizations.


A whooping of 92% respondents says they would be concerned if information about decisions taken by management were subject to public scrutiny.


The survey further states that over one third of the respondents believe that unethical behaviour will increase further. While, 64% believe that unethical behaviour is often tolerated when involving seniors or high performers.


Arpinder Singh, Partner and Head – India and Emerging Markets, Forensic & Integrity Services, EY said, “The COVID-19 pandemic struck the business ecosystem to its core, propelling management to deal with operational distress and business continuity with urgency. As tough decisions are being taken amid the crisis, the risk of unethical behaviour and compliance infractions has increased and can weigh heavily on organizations.


“Turbulent times like these can have corporate integrity becoming a true differentiator as organizations concentrate on encouraging ethical conduct, building trust in third party partnerships, protecting data and circumnavigating the risks present now, next and beyond.”


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