Sinking CEOs. (Opinion Pulse)

By Bowman, Karlyn | The American Enterprise, October-November 2002 | Go to article overview

Sinking CEOs. (Opinion Pulse)


Bowman, Karlyn, The American Enterprise


People don't have high opinions of the ethical standards of CEOs. Fifty-four percent believe most CEOs are not honest. Tempering this negativity is the widespread belief that the CEOs and financial officers at people's own companies are honest. Despite reservations about big business, Americans continue to be skeptical about new federal government activity in this area.

 
Question: Which of the following comes 
closest to your point of view ...? 
 
        What happened at 
      Enron and WorldCom 
       is representative 
          of problems at 
          most companies    10% 
 
          Many companies    21 
 
               Just some    48 
               companies 
 
                Very few 
               companies    18 
 
Source: NBC News/Wall Street Journal, July 2002. 
 
Note: Table made from bar graph. 
 
Question: Overall, how much trust ...? 
 
      Have a great deal/ 
    good amount of trust 
   in the honesty of the 
    executive or leaders 
          of the company 
            where I work    63% 
 
                    Some    23 
 
                  Little    11 
 
Source: ABC 
News/Washington 
Post, July 2002. 
 
Note: Table made from bar graph. 
 
Question: Big auditing companies like Arthur Andersen have self-policing 
procedures in place to make sure that their accounting practices 
follow certain ethical and legal standards. As you may know, Arthur 
Andersen approved Enron's financial statements and then the 
company failed. In your opinion, do ...? 
 
           Self-policing 
     procedures by audit 
          companies work    23% 
 
                  Do not    69 
 
 Should the federal ...? 
 
              Government 
           should create 
              new agency    35% 
 
              Should not    34 
 
Source: Ipsos-Reid, January 2002. 
 
Note: Table made from bar graph. 
 
Question: In general, do you think ...? 
 
          Most corporate 
         CEOs are honest 
             and ethical    34% 
 
                Not sure    12% 
 
                 Are not    54% 
 
Source: Fox News/Opinion Dynamics, July 2002. … 

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