Four in Ten (42%) Employed Canadians Have Observed Some Form of Workplace Misconduct; One in Five (17%) Cite Witnessing Privacy Violations

Less than Half (48%) of Those Who’ve Witness Misconduct Have Actually Reported It

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Toronto, ON – A new study on business ethics in the Canadian workplace reveal that a sizeable portion of full-time Canadian employees have witnessed misconduct in their place of work, according to a new survey conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of ClearView Strategic Partners Inc.

The data reveal that four in ten (42%) Canadian workers have seen some kind of misconduct in their place of work, while six in ten (58%) have not witnessed any. Of those who witnessed wrongdoing at work, 48% did not report the misconduct . This reveals a deficit between the number of employees who are witnessing misconduct and those who are actually reporting it.

The following table outlines in full the types of workplace misconduct Canadian employees have seen, the proportion of respondents who witnessed misconduct, and the number of those who witnessed wrongdoing and reported it:

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The fact that nearly half of working Canadians are reluctant or unable to report workplace misconduct that they witness is a fact in stark contrast to a majority who reveal that they would feel obligated to report any workplace wrongdoing should they witness it. Six in ten (62%) indicate that they would feel an obligation or responsibility to report any activity they witnessed in their workplace that they think is seriously wrong or unethical, while a further half (46%) would feel confident reporting the misconduct to their manager (if it didn’t directly involve him or her).

The following table outlines in full what working Canadians would do or expect if they were to see conduct in their workplace they deemed seriously wrong or unethical:

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A sizeable portion of working Canadians feels significant pressure to deliver results or to compromise personal values or ethics.

A significant percentage of working Canadians say that results in their organization come before everything else. One in three (33%) ‘agrees’ (12% strongly/21% somewhat) that ‘in my workplace, delivering results is more important than doing the right thing’, while six in ten (59%) ‘disagree’ (36% strongly/23% somewhat) with this assessment and one in ten (8%) aren’t sure.

Two in ten (22%) ‘agree’ (7% strongly/15% somewhat) that ‘I feel that I have to compromise my own personal ethics or values to keep my job’, although seven in ten (69%) ‘disagree’ (50% strongly/20% somewhat) and one in ten (9%) aren’t sure.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid survey conducted between June 7th to 11th, 2013, on behalf of ClearView Strategic Partners Inc. For this survey, a sample of 1,054 Canadians who are employed full-time from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 3.4 percentage points had all Canadians who are employed full-time been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Sean Simpson
Associate Vice President
Ipsos Reid Public Affairs

About Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

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About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world’s third largest market research company.

With offices in 85 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,789 billion (2.300 billion USD) in 2012.

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Four in Ten (42%) Employed Canadians Have Observed Some Form of Workplace Misconduct; One in Five (17%) Cite Witnessing Privacy Violations


Sean Simpson
Vice President, Canada
Ipsos Public Affairs