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March 4, 2008

HR Fact Friday: Teens Surveyed Place Success over Ethics

Filed under: General HR Buzz1:38 pm

An article in the February 2008 issue of HR Magazine presents some interesting and somewhat troubling statistics that relate to the mindset of our future business leaders. A Junior Achievement / Deloitte & Touche USA LLP survey conducted among 726 U.S. teens concluded that for more than one third of them succeeding at all costs was the primary career objective.

Other findings released were: 

  • 38% of teens ages 13-18 said in the Sept 2007 online survey that lying, cheating, plagiarizing or behaving violently sometimes is necessary.
  • 71% feel prepared to make ethical decisions when they start working. (I don’t know if this is good news or bad news).
  • 24% think cheating on a test is acceptable; 54% of those teens say their personal desire to succeed is their rationale.
  • 23% think violence toward someone is acceptable in order to settle an argument or take revenge.
  • 27% don’t think it’s fair for an employer to suspend or fire a worker for behaving unethically outside of work.
  • 57% don’t think it’s fair for employers to make hiring or firing decisions based on what employees or job candidates have posted on the Internet.


Source: HR Magazine, Feb 2008, Kathy Gurchiek, Ethics, Schmethics, U.S. Teens Say, pg 26


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