Welcome to the Vital Integrities Blog

Teen Ethics

Here's sobering news for hiring managers: four out of ten teenagers believe that cheating, plagiarizing, lying, or behaving violently is sometimes necessary for their success. The fifth annual Junior Achievement/Deloitte Teen Ethics Survey polled U.S. teenagers ranging in ages from thirteen to eighteen about their ethical standards. Although 71 percent of respondents said they have what it takes to make ethical decisions once they enter the workforce, 38 percent said dishonesty and violence are acceptable as long as those behaviors help them succeed.

Consider these findings: More than half of the 24 percent of teenagers who said it's okay to cheat on a test listed a personal desire to succeed as suitable rationalization. Twenty-three percent said violence toward others can be justifiable when settling arguments or seeking revenge. And while 95 percent said stealing something from a store is dishonest, 47 percent found nothing wrong with downloading music from an online retailer without paying for it.

"As the teens of today become the workforce of tomorrow, it is more important than ever that they learn how to make appropriate, ethical decisions," says Gerald Czarnecki, president and chief executive officer of JA Worldwide. Indeed. Leaders I speak with are increasingly frustrated to discover that many young people entering the fulltime workforce lack the ability to recognize right from wrong. They find themselves having to teach workplace behaviors they think young adults should already know; that it's proper to call their supervisors when staying home sick, for instance, or that it's improper to text message their friends during staff meetings. But who's going to teach this stuff to our youth?

As it turns out, Junior Achievement and Deloitte will. The two organizations have collaborated to launch JA Business Ethics, a new program developed to help prepare high school students for making ethical decisions at work. The program's hands-on classroom activities and real-life applications allow students to compare their personal beliefs with accepted ethics theories. Additionally, Junior Achievement updated Excellence through Ethics, its free online program that provides ethical lessons for students in grades four through twelve. "Our society relies on its members having a clear understanding that integrity and trust are the foundation of all human relationships," explains Czarnecki. Thankfully, JA and Deloitte are helping to build that foundation.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark this post on del.icio.us

What do you think? Post a Comment
Vital Integrities Blog - Blogged