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Singaporean firms lead global ethics, compliance: study

In addressing risks, local firms respond more dynamically to changes than global peers.

Singaporean companies are setting an example in corporate leadership with a recent study showing the city-state is outpacing its global peers in ethics and compliance metrics, shooting past companies across the globe, according to LRN Corporation.

LRN Corp. in its E&C Programme Effectiveness Report found that 90% of businesses in Singapore had to make “difficult decisions” to keep the company aligned with their values, 20% higher than the average in Asia Pacific and globally.

Nearly three-fourths of businesses also reported they have actively modified or abandoned initiatives to comply with ethical standards, especially in critical business decisions – also 20% higher than the regional and global averages.

Further, the companies proved to be effective in improving their ethics and compliance programmes, better at adopting new training methods and are more frequent in taking action on ethical dilemmas, compared to global peers.

“As the world becomes more complex with increasing business risks,” the report said. “Respondents from Singapore respond more dynamically to changes than global and APAC peers around addressing risk controls, analysing regulatory requirements, and focusing on risks posed by overseas operations.”

The study also showed Singapore firms leading in implementing incentives and disincentives for ethical conduct, noting that the city-state’s score in measuring management performance, hiring, promotion, and bonus rewards beat the global average.

Three-fourths of Singaporean businesses were found to be factoring ethical behaviour for promotions and bonuses, while 60% said they terminated or disciplined an executive or a high-performing employee due to unethical conduct. This compares to the 40% global and Asia-Pacific averages.

“This year’s report shows that companies in Singapore are committed towards maintaining high E&C standards,” Eric Morehead, director of advisory service solutions at LRN, said. “They have taken action on ethical issues at a higher rate than worldwide peers and lead their global counterparts across several E&C metrics.”
 

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