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Architecture named Britain’s most ethical profession

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May 15 2014

Architecture named Britain’s most ethical profession
A survey of small and medium sized businesses has found those in the architecture sector to be the most ethical with owners placing more faith in their employees than any other industry and demonstrating the greatest concern for the ethical behaviour of their suppliers.

The results are contained in new research published by the Association of Accounting Technicians which quizzed 1,000 SME owners together with microbusinesses and the self- employed throughout the UK.

Of these 93 per cent of architecture practices professed to always acting ethically, compared to just 31 per cent in manufacturing and 25 per cent in IT and telecoms. In addition 67 per cent trusted their employees to do the right thing should they encounter any unethical workplace practices – versus just 49 per cent in manufacturing.

Moreover architecture respondents were most concerned with the ethical behaviour of suppliers before agreeing to work with them, with fully 80 per cent actively considering this when commissioning.

Director of the Institute of Business Ethics, Philippa Foster Back commented: “Due to requirements of prime contractors higher up supply chains, smaller firms are increasingly asked during tendering processes about their ethical risk management.

“The ethics of a small organisation is typically influenced by the owner-manager as their behaviour will set the tone of the business and any values and ethical principles will usually be implicit. However, there are advantages to having a more formal ethics policy in place. Firstly, it reinforces and makes explicit the values and principles that are part of the organisational culture, so allowing them to be communicated to stakeholders. Secondly, a policy will provide guidance and support to employees on how they are expected to conduct their business.”

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