Ethical Climate Survey


EthicalClimate Survey


Descriptionof the organization

WellsFargo and Company has been engaged in lawsuit for coercing andcollaborating with its employees in fraudulent activities. The bankis sued for allegedly ‘forcing’ and ‘encouraging’ itsemployees to engage in deceitful business practices. As a result thebank was fined $2500 for violating the California’s UnfairCompetition Law and was forced to reimburse fraudulent fees chargedon customers. In one case, a client of the bank sued three employeesof the Wells Fargo for using his personal information to openfalsified account under his name and engaged in fictitious business.The employees had substituted the client address but maintained theaccount information and this was reflected in the client creditreport. However, in retaliation the bank defended the employeessaying that it is committed to ‘creating supportive, caring,ethical environment for its team members.’ More analysis indicatedthat the bank tope management is behind the ‘pressure’ onemployees leading to fraudulent tactics in order to achieve greattargets (Edwards,Thomas, Rosenfeld and Booth-Kewley, 1997).These fraudulent acts involved opening unauthorized customeraccounts, issuing illegal credit cards, forging client signatures andcharging unwarranted fees on clients.

Recommendkey steps that the organization can take to create a strong culture

Inorder to ensure strong organization culture, Well &amp Fargo needsto promote organizational culture that is based on strong ethicalconducts and commitment to legal laws by the managers, bank’s boardof directors and employees.

  • First, the best thing to do is external stakeholders and employees deserve ethical treatment. Well &ampFargo managers must stop ‘forcing’ employees to meet unearthly sales target that lead them to practice fraudulent acts on customers. Allowing unethical behavior by top managers breed a damaging culture across the bank.

  • Second the bank should cultivate a culture of inclusiveness and involving employees in decision making before ‘pressing them to implement unachievable business targets. To this end, Well &ampFargo management should listen to employees, encourage good ethical work practices and recognize their work.

  • Third, the bank needs to look beyond the interest of the shareholders and become socially responsible to the immediate communities, workforce and other stakeholders served by the bank.

Thetie between organizational culture and ethical conduct

Organizationculture refers to set of beliefs and values held by organizationmembers and which guides their thinking and behaviors as they conductbusiness activities. Good organization culture leads to good ethicalconducts and practices by organization members. When organizationshave good cultures, they tend to have good values, compliance to lawand stakeholder commitment (Kraut, 1996). Evidence of goodorganization culture and ethics is good treatment loyalty that givento clients and employees. Organization culture creates an ethicalclimate in which all employees are aware and understands fullyorganization’s values the ‘don’ts and dos’ as well as theconsequences of such actions (Honeycutt, Glassman, Sugelder andKarande, 2001).

Surveyshelps in examining the extent to which organization supervisors,leaders, coworkers demonstrate commitment good ethical conduct bysetting good examples and supporting others adhere to ethicalstandards. Surveys help in assessing the current state oforganization ethical climate. Surveys also communicate strong message to employee surveys signals to employees, clients and otherstakeholders that their opinions are valued and that the organizationis committed in making positive changes. However, surveys should beconducted in the right way to avoid communicating the wrong message(Honeycutt, Glassman, Sugelder and Karande, 2001).

Twogroups within Well &ampFargo who will take the survey

Themain objective of good organization survey is to assess theorganization ethical climate based on employees and clients opinions.

EmployeesInorganizations employees are involved in day to day operationactivities most of which entails interacting with externalstakeholders such as suppliers, clients, government and the immediatecommunity in the neighborhood. As such, the ethical conduct ofemployees matters in projecting the level of ethical values held bythe organization (James,2003).

CustomersClientsare the most affected by unethical practices from organizationmanagement and employees. For instance, in Well &amp Fargo employeesand the management engaged in deceitful business practices thataffected clients. As such, clients have first hand information onemployees’ ethical practices (Honeycutt, Glassman, Sugelder andKarande, 2001).

Invitationto participate in the survey explaining the purpose and intended useof the survey

Thepurpose of this survey is to collect evidence from employees,customers and other stakeholders on ethical conducts and values heldby Wells &amp Fargo. Ideally, this survey seeks to enlist allemployees, customers and other stakeholders’ opinions as valuableinputs in making positive changes on Well &amp Fargo reducedviolation, increased compliance and heightened integrity (Honeycutt,Glassman, Sugelder and Karande, 2001).All employees and Clients are invited to participate in this surveyprocess in order to contribute to the development of an effectiveethical climate at Well and Fargo to serve all stakeholderseffectively. Participation in this survey is based on anonymity andno individual names or participation will be disclosed to anyone(Honeycutt,Glassman, Sugelder and Karande, 2001).

Informationcollected from each participant will be confidential and will not bedisclosed. As such, all participants should provide honest anddetailed responses in order to enhance effective and successfulbehavior at Well &amp Fargo. Therefore, this survey is not in anyway aimed at collected information that will be used againstemployees but for the purpose of improving and promoting goodorganization values and ethics (Honeycutt,Glassman, Sugelder and Karande, 2001). To this end, this survey is not and will not be used to implicateanyone based on their honest information but will greatly helpimprove the overall organization culture. In addition, this survey isnot a test for wrong or right answers and will be reviewed onindividual basis.


Thetarget population for this survey is members of the Well &ampFargoorganization who include among others managers, employees (salespeople) and other employees in other departments at the firm.Employees’ views are pertinent to this survey content and areconsidered to hold valuable information that will be useful inassessing the ethical climate at Well &ampFargo firm. In addition,this survey will seek the input of clients as they also holdimportant data on ethical values, practices and conduct of the Well&ampFargo organization.

Modeof Survey administration

Thesurvey will be administered based on the respondents’ desiredmethod for confidential purpose and the ease with which datacollection is made possible. The best method that will be used inthis case is online surveys that will be preceded by invitationletters requesting all participants to provide details throughquestionnaires that will be sent online(Honeycutt, Glassman, Sugelder and Karande, 2001). However, before actual survey administration is done, a surveycommittee will be formed whose task will entail facilitating thedesign and implementation of the survey more importantly the surveycommittee will provide expertise on how to manage strategically allaspects of the survey(Edwards, Thomas, Rosenfeld and Booth-Kewley, 1997).

Instructionsfor participation and completing surveys

Instructionsfor completing the online surveys will be attached to invitationletters in order to ensure that valid and objective information iscollected. The instruction guide will include tips for writingresponses by employees. All questions will have standard responsescale that applies to all participants. Examples of answer scalerange will be anchored on such answer scale range as “Completelytrue” or “Completely False.”

SampleQuestions for the survey

A).Determining the organization culture

  1. How would you describe the organization culture at Well &amp Fargo? Values, beliefs, conduct and practices?

  2. What are the common complaints that clients and employees make about the organization culture at Well &ampFargo?

  3. On a scale of 5 rate the Well and Fargo organization culture based on employee and customer satisfaction. Where

1.Very good2. Good 3. Moderate 4. Bad 5. Worst

B).Ethical climate at Well &amp Fargo

  1. My manager sets good ethical behaviors? (Tick as appropriate)

  1. Completely false

  2. I do not know

  3. Completely true

  1. What contribution would you make to the top management in order to improve ethical climate at Well and Fargo?

  1. Better communication and relation

  2. Employ ethical people managers and employees

  3. Train employees on good ethics

  1. “My manger supports me in applying good ethics and conduct in my work.” Rate the level of your agreement or disagreement on this statement.

  1. Strongly agree b. Agree c. Do not know d. Disagree e. Strongly disagree

C).The impact of existing ethics training program

  1. How would you rate the effectiveness of the Well &ampFargo ethic program (s)?

  1. Very good b. Good c. does not have ethic program d. average e. poor

ii.‘The training we get at Well &amp Fargo helps us adopt good ethicsand conducts”

  1. Strongly Agree b. Agree c. Neither agree nor disagree d. Agree Strongly Agree

  1. How often do Well &amp Fargo conduct ethical training programs?

D).Overallsatisfaction of employees with the management on leading theorganization in an ethical manner

  1. Rate the overall satisfaction that you have with the top management at Well &amp Fargo

  1. Very goodb. Goodc. Neither good nor badd. Bad e. Worse

  1. Are ethical or unethical behaviors tolerated in this organization? If yes, what is the frequency?

  2. Is there a means or effort to resolve the prevailing ethical concerns at Well &amp Fargo?


Thepurpose and intent of this survey tool was to assess throughemployees and clients the ethical climate and organization culture atWell &amp Fargo. Well &amp Fargo has encountered significantcomplaints from clients over unethical conducts of employees at Well&amp Fargo. This survey was aimed at collecting information fromemployees and customers in order to assess how the ethical climateand organization culture at Well &amp Fargo could be improved. Thecollected information will be useful in planning for interventionprograms for enforcing good organization culture and ethics at Well &ampFargo.


EdwardsJack E, Thomas Marie D, Rosenfeld Paul, and Booth-Kewley, Stephanie.(1997). How to Conduct Organizational Surveys: A step-by-step guide.Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

HoneycuttE, Glassman M, Sugelder M, Karande K (2001). “Determinant ofethical behavior.” Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 32(1), pp.69-79

JamesK. Martin. (2003). “Measuring the Ethics Climate in yourOrganization.” jk&ampe martin consulting inc. Retrieved from

Kraut,Allen I. (1996), Organizational Surveys: Tools for Assessment andChange. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.