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Employment

Whom Do You Trust?

Knowing whom to trust in the optical networking business isn’t easy. People in the industry are split on how they feel about staying loyal to their former employer once they’ve moved onto to bigger and better jobs.

At least that’s how it seems from early results of this month’s Light Reading poll on the Light Work site. Sixty-eight percent of those who've so far taken the poll say they wouldn’t divulge confidential information from their former employer to their new employer (see Safe with Secrets).

That means, of course, that nearly a third of respondents would divulge confidential information. What kind of secrets are they willing to give up? The results so far are varied. Fourteen percent say they would tell their new employer about their old company’s future product development. But only 8 percent say they would divulge R&D results, and only 6 percent say they would share product design with their new bosses. And while 13 percent say they would give up a list of customers to their new sales force, only 5 percent would discuss their old company’s financial forecasts.

How serious a setback could these confidential leaks be? All 70 respondents feel there would be some impact. Fifty percent of respondents say that it would be a serious set back, and 11 percent say that it could kill the company entirely.

Respondents also have mixed feelings about companies suing employees over breaches of confidentiality. Fifty-three percent say it depends on the circumstances, while a solid 38 percent say that companies owe it to shareholders to quash leaks. Only 9 percent feel the whole issue is a joke.

We’d like to hear your thoughts on these matters. Log onto the survey and take the poll yourself.

-- Marguerite Reardon, senior editor, Light Reading, http://www.lightreading.com

Marguerite Reardon 12/4/2012 | 9:02:35 PM
re: Whom Do You Trust? What do you think about employees divulging secrets? Do new employers expect to get the goods on your old company after you've been hired? Should they expect that?
market_watcher 12/4/2012 | 9:02:29 PM
re: Whom Do You Trust? I agree. No one should let out any confidential news about their present or any former companies.
It is a crime.
gardner 12/4/2012 | 9:01:55 PM
re: Whom Do You Trust? I'm not surprised by the extent to which trust is absent in the workplace. Or for that matter any other ethical value. Corporations are merely reaping the harvest they have sown with their own practices. The bottom line and the stockprice have been the supreme values in most corporations over the last two decades. Expedience rules the boardroom. We have been treated to a parade of golden parachutes and sweetheart deals for corporate executives. Is it really a surprise that some individuals at lower levels would draw the conclusion that their personal search for profit came before anything else? Who has been the role model for this cynicism? The selfsame corporate executives that wonder how "the little people" have become so immoral. The steady drumbeat of our collective corporate ethos has been "ethical guys finish last". Should we be surprised when the message starts to get through to those outside the boardroom and the executive suites? I don't think so.
Peter Heywood 12/4/2012 | 9:01:49 PM
re: Whom Do You Trust? I agree. One example of this is Lucent suing former employees...

http://www.lightreading.com/do...

...while its executives were investing in competing startups....

http://www.lightreading.com/do...

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