Robert J. Rutland Institute for Ethics
The Southeast Survey of CEO's on Business Ethics

What ethical issues are most worrisome for today's CEOs?  And what are they doing about them?  Do they expect the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to help restore trust in corporate America?  How have recent events affected their own companies?  These and many other timely questions were answered at the breakfast forum on Wednesday, May 25 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Greenville, SC.

Lee Hecht Harrison was the sponsor for this special event featuring a panel of business leaders who discussed the fascinating findings of the recently completed Southeast Survey of CEOs on Business Ethics.  The Chamber of Commerce of Greater Greenville SC was the host for the event.

Made possible by the generous support of its corporate sponsors, UPS and Lee Hecht Harrison, the survey of nearly 400 CEOs was conducted by Clemson University's Robert J. Rutland Institute for Ethics and the Southern Institute for Business and Professional Ethics, the region’s leading non-profit organization promoting ethics and integrity in business for the last 12 years.  The survey covers such topics as: the most pressing ethical concerns facing various industries; CEOs' methods for managing employee conduct and establishing ethical values; the effectiveness of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in reforming corporate ethics; the role of religious beliefs in business decision-making; and many other timely issues.

The Southern Institute for Business and Professional Ethics

The Center for Ethics and Corporate Responsibility (formerly The Southern Institute for Business and Professional Ethics) is one of the nation's leading centers promoting professional integrity and global corporate responsibility. Founded in 1993 by leaders in business, education and the professions, the Center is making a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals, institutions and society. The Center was founded as an independent, community-based initiative, supported by leading corporations, professional firms, small businesses and individuals. Today, the Center is a unit of the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University, which also work collaboratively with other academic institutions including Clemson University and Kennesaw State University.

The Robert J. Rutland Institute for Ethics

The Robert J. Rutland Institute for Ethics at Clemson University was founded in 2001.  The Institute builds upon the strong bond of trust Clemson University has enjoyed with students, faculty and the communities it serves for more than a century.  With an innovative ethics across the curriculum program and programming tailored to meet client needs, the Institute strives to nurture an ethical environment both on and off campus.  The Rutland Institute provides ethics-based services for several of the most important communities of life: higher education, businesses, the professions, government, and K-12 education.  For more information visit:

2005 CEO Survery Presentation (PowerPoint)



  • 378 qualified responses
  • Respondents completed either a mailed-in or on-line survey
  • The survey instrument was sent to the CEOs of the largest organizations (by revenue) in six Southeastern states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. 
  • Margin of error +/- 5%
  • Conducted November 2004 – January 2005