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February 21, 2013 - 12:00am

Survey Asks Business Owners About Ethics in the Workplace

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Dr. Vanessa Hill, an associate professor of management at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, is reaching out to area business owners to ask how they incorporate ethics in their operations.

With their responses, she'll create a database to study area trends and develop tools for business and industry. She's conducting the Assessment of Workplace Integrity via an online survey.

“Because a lot of people may be uneasy about talking about workplace integrity, using an online forum is a good way to gather information,” Hill said in a recent interview.

She administered the initial survey in 2010, when 376 members of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce participated. "That's a good sample size, because the Chamber includes about 2,000 businesses. The more informa tion we collect, the more useful it will be, because larger amounts of data lend themselves to deeper analysis."

The project is still in its infancy. "Ultimately, we'll create a longitudinal database to collect and extract information," she said.

Hill is the J.J. Burdin, M.D. and Helen B. Burdin/Louisiana Board of Regents Support Fund Professor of Professional Ethics. The late Burdin was an alumnus and physician who helped secure funding for professorships and scholarships throughout the university.