The Guidelines and their progeny meaning mostly Department of Justice policy statements slowly changed this, and clearly—I believe—for the better. Companies can benefit from behavioral ethics in several ways.
The broadest approach entails embracing a core message of behavioral ethics—that we are not as ethical as we think we are. A behavioral perspective puts more emphasis on creating and maintaining circumstances that make acting appropriately easy. Of course, one must be mindful of taking this behavioral perspective too far.
On the other hand, too much confidence is obviously a link in itself, so one must strive to maintain the right balance. So, one should consider the possibility of slippery slopes in considering risk assessments and also in training. Another area for risk assessment and training concerns the behavioral insight that people are better at predicting the ethics in information systems conduct of others than of themselves. A strategy for dealing with this is to pose risk-assessment questions that are addressed to the conduct of others rather than the interviewee herself. Another risk area concerns being rushed. The best-known case goes back to the early s, when being rushed was found to have a tremendous power for causing wrongdoing.
Therefore, risk assessments should take into account the presence or absence of such circumstances. This should be taken into account when scheduling training and other communications. This will help mitigate the effects of motivated blindness. Consider the insight that individuals can be more likely to respond to intangible incentives such as recognition, than they are to tangible ones, such as cash informtion.
With respect to promoting employees who report suspected violations or seek guidance on ethical matters, the behavioral perspective augers in favor of building the case for reporting. Another way in which behavioral ethics can inform the design and operation of compliance programs relates to individual risk areas. For instance, disclosure of conflicts of interest, at least in some circumstances, is not as good a mitigant as is often ethics in information systems to be the case. This does not mean that companies should abandon disclosure. However it does suggest the need for combining other compliance strategies with disclosure. Another example of addressing individual risk areas through behavioral ethics concerns insider trading—a crime where one often cannot identify a victim.
Jeffrey M. First Last. Yes No. How do people change their minds about issues? Support Our Work Donate. Join our email list Subscribe.
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