Almost a third of managers believe they work in an unethical way, mainly so they can get ahead in their job, according to a new study.
Twenty-nine per cent admitted to regularly ditching ethics, saying it was down to "job progression", a survey of 1,000 managers found.
A separate poll of non-managerial staff found that 13% worked unethically.
The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) said its research found that white lies were a "constant" in workplaces across the country.
Ann Francke, CMI chief executive, said: "When it comes to integrity, leading by example is key so managers need to re-focus on principles, not personal gain.
"We've seen company after company fall foul of ethical scandals and the costs can be huge - not only financially, but in the damage that's done to hard-won reputations.
"It's time for employers to step up and confront unethical behaviour and commit to developing management cultures where strong ethics are rewarded."