Entries by David Newman

The Promise of Ethical Systems for C&E Professionals

Jeffrey Kaplan (resident expert in law and compliance) has a new post on Conflict of Interest Blog about the potential for Ethical Systems to improve corporate compliance: “my hope is that through the Eth Sys platform social science researchers and C&E professionals can exchange ideas and information on promoting ethical behavior in business organizations to an […]

Ameliorating Conflicts of Interest and Corruption in Auditing

Image: Chester Higgins, via Wikimedia Commons. Negative externalities such as pollution can be controlled, but only if all stakeholders are working together instead of at cross purposes. Auditors are usually hired and paid by the firms they audit. If you think there is something fishy about that, you are not alone. Many financial scandals, including […]

Finance Tackling Ethical Conduct, But Issues Remain

  Image: The Economist Insights An Economist Intelligence Unit report sponsored by CFA Institute “examines the role of integrity and knowledge in restoring culture in the financial services industry and in building a more resilient industry.” Titled A crisis of culture, the report finds broadly that most financial firms have taken steps to strengthen ethical conduct, […]

High-Status, Successful Employees More Likely to Use Deception

A working paper at Harvard Business School reports that successful, higher-status employees are more likely to react to unfavorable comparisons with peers by engaging in deception designed to make the comparisons less unfavorable. The authors tested their hypothesis primarily with academics, finding that those further up in the hierarchy were more likely to use deceptive […]

Compliance Trends Show Room for Improvement

WSJ’s Risk and Compliance Journal reported today on In Focus: Compliance Trends Survey 2013, a collaboration by Deloitte and Compliance Week. They found, among other things, that companies focus on different kinds of compliance issues depending on their size, operational structure, and risk profile. But one of the more surprising findings was what organizations were not doing: […]

Fair Leadership is Good Business

The Guardian reported earlier this week on a new study showing a strong connection between whether employees perceive their leaders as fair and those leaders’ ability to effect positive change in their organizations.   Fairness impacts all dimensions of what the researchers define as transformational leadership: namely, “idealized influence” (setting ethical standards for other to […]

Cheating May Cause Boost in Happiness

Citing a 2013 study by several ethics researchers, including EthSys contributor Francesca Gino, The New York Times reports that people experience an elevated mood after cheating, as long as they do not believe anyone was harmed by it. Even if there was no monetary incentive to cheat, or if someone else cheated on the subjects’ behalf, “they felt just […]

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Fixing a Hole

Fixing a Hole Prof. Robert Bloomfield, Cornell University This case is based on a real-life situation; names have been changed to protect identities. Digging a Hole Nancy Quine, Senior Vice President of Geriatric Products at Global Consumer Goods (GCG) came to work in early December to hear some bad news. Jesse Chalmers, a new sales […]

Trust Within and Between Groups with Different Missions

A manuscript currently in press from the University of Zurich reports that subjects who strongly identify themselves with a non-profit mission are more trustworthy in a minimal group setting (i.e., when grouped by artistic preference for Paul Klee or Wassily Kandinsky) but also harshly discriminate against out-groups when subjects are grouped by the missions they identify […]

Week That Was in Ethical Systems, 9/30-10/6

SEC Gives Whistleblower More Than $14 Million In Record Award​, in The Wall Street Journal The SEC said it awarded more than $14 million to a whistleblower who gave the agency information that led to an enforcement action “that recovered substantial investor funds.” This award was the third-ever handed by out by the agency and […]