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Nearly a third of teens think you have to bend the rules to succeed, according to JA poll
For Immediate Release September 8, 2004
Nearly One-Third of Teens Believe “You have to Bend the Rules to Succeed,” According to JA/Deloitte Poll
Junior Achievement Adds 10 New Lessons to Ethics Curriculum
Colorado Springs, Colo.– In a surprising increase from a similar poll conducted last year, nearly one-third of teens surveyed believe you have to “bend the rules to succeed,” according to a new Junior Achievement/Deloitte & Touche USA LLP poll conducted by Harris Interactive. Only 20 percent of teens gave the same answer in last year’s poll. In addition, more than 8 out of 10 (83%) teens turn to their “Friends” for help in making ethical decisions, followed by “Parents” (68%), “Teachers” (27%), “Internet” (24%) and “Clergy” (14%). “Boss,” “Library” and “School Counselor” were rated in single digits.
More encouraging is the percentage of teens who think people who practice good business ethics are more successful than people who don’t, which jumped to 62 percent in 2004 from 56 percent in 2003.
The poll of 624 teens between the ages of 13 and 18 was conducted between July 9 and 23, 2004 as part of the “Excellence through Ethics” curriculum, a $1 million initiative of Junior Achievement (JA) and Deloitte to promote business ethics among today’s young people. The poll has margin of error of +/- 3.9 percent. JA has expanded the curriculum by adding 10 new ethics lessons, which will be taught in classrooms across the country beginning this fall.
“These poll results indicate that teens are getting mixed messages, so we continue to believe that ethics education must begin early, during formative years,” said James H. Quigley, CEO of Deloitte & Touche USA LLP. “Every generation needs to learn and understand why bending the rules is not only wrong but also not good business. That’s why we’ve teamed up with JA to foster a constructive dialogue among teens, their teachers and role models through the ‘Excellence through Ethics’ program.”
"JA has a long history of teaching young people about business,” said David S. Chernow, president and CEO of JA Worldwide. “The main reason the free enterprise system remains so successful is that it is built upon a foundation of ethical behavior. It is imperative that we as adults emphasize the importance of ethics to our young people in order to keep our free enterprise system, and our nation, strong.”
Excellence through Ethics is a business ethics curriculum designed to teach young people that responsible, ethical behavior is the cornerstone of the American free enterprise system. It is used in all JA programs for grades 4-12, and has the potential to reach more than three million students each year in the United States.
More than 800 Deloitte people are JA volunteers. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Center for Corporate Citizenship recognized Deloitte with its Citizenship in Action award in connection with the organization’s commitment to support early ethics education.
Excellence through Ethics activities are designed for classroom use and are valuable tools to help teach students about ethics. Content of the lessons include: examining the concept of intellectual property rights, learning the importance of presenting yourself accurately and truthfully during a job search, making ethical decisions, learning why insider trading is illegal, exploring ethical accounting practices and understanding why ethical standards are important for business people. For more information about Excellence through Ethics, visit http://studentcenter.ja.org/aspx/LearnEthics/.
About Junior Achievement
Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to educating young people about business, economics and free enterprise. Through a dedicated volunteer network, JA provides in-school and after-school programs for students in grades K-12. JA offers educational programs that focus on seven key content areas: business, citizenship, economics, entrepreneurship, ethics/character, financial literacy, and career development. Today over 140 offices reach more than four million students in the United States, with over two million students served by operations in 98 countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.ja.org.
Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, a Swiss Verein, its member firms and their respective subsidiaries and affiliates. As a Swiss Verein (association), neither Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu nor any of its member firms has any liability for each other’s acts or omissions. Each of the member firms is a separate and independent legal entity operating under the names “Deloitte,” “Deloitte & Touche,” “Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu,” or other related names. Services are provided by the member firms or their subsidiaries or affiliates and not by the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Verein.
Deloitte & Touche USA LLP is the U.S. member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. In the U.S., services are provided by the subsidiaries of Deloitte & Touche USA LLP (Deloitte & Touche LLP, Deloitte Consulting LLP, Deloitte Tax LLP, and their subsidiaries), and not by Deloitte & Touche USA LLP.