Entries by David Newman

Risk Management and Ethical Systems Design

Recently the Wall Street Journal featured a conversation with Henry Ristuccia, a partner at Deloitte and global leader for Governance, Risk and Compliance Services, speaking on the subject of reputational risk management. The key takeaway: reputation is considered the highest impact risk area to business strategy.   The challenge is that many organizations still take a rear-view mirror […]

Week That Was in Ethical Systems, 9/23-9/29

This week we turn our focus to stories about corruption. To learn more about research in this area and related fields, see our pages on Corruption and Cheating. Corruption Risk Index Reveals Long-Term Lack of Will to Tackle Corruption in BRICs, from Maplecroft Global Risk Analytics The lack of progress on corruption is having a detrimental […]

Cultural Alignment and Compliance

Mary Schapiro, former SEC Chairman from January 2009 until December 2012, remembers “a time when enforcement fines were the cost of doing business.” But in August 2013, WSJ financial editor Francesco Guerrera wrote of a change in the regulatory climate: penalties for wrongdoing are getting harsher. However, steep settlements for financial institutions are not enough. As long […]

Blind Spots Review by Jeff Kaplan

Although we plan to add a full-length book summary in the near future, lawyer and ethical systems researcher Jeff Kaplan has already written a review of Blind Spots (homepage, amazon, B&N, public library), by Max Bazerman and Ann Tenbrunsel. As Kaplan points out, Blind Spots has huge implications for corporate compliance and ethics programs, especially with regard to the phenomenon of […]

, , , ,


INTRODUCTION Image: William Hogarth, “The Bench,” via Wikipedia. Most of our research pages focus on the behavior of individuals, and the ways that individuals interact within companies. But the companies themselves are embedded in a network of laws and institutions that create the “ecosystem” within which firms compete and cooperate. On this page we describe […]

Week That Was in Ethical Systems, 9/16-9/22

Cheating and Culture: “Students Accused of Cheating Return Awkwardly to a Changed Harvard” in the New York Times Ethical breaches send ripples through all organizations. A year after dozens of students were caught cheating, students and faculty at Harvard are asking how to prevent future incidents, and grappling with how to move on. For more […]

The Ethics of Pay for Performance

The Trouble with Wall Street, by Michael Lewis. The New Republic, February 4, 2013. Earlier this year, Michael Lewis addressed how firms on Wall Street in general, and Goldman Sachs in particular, have fostered a culture that systematically incentivizes unethical behavior. Analyzing the tell-all of Greg Smith, the former Goldman employee who famously publicized his decision to […]

, , , , , ,

Cultivating Conscience

Cultivating Conscience: How Good Laws Make Good People by Lynn Stout (public library) Summarized by David Newman Overview Conscience, or unselfish prosocial behavior, is a real and powerful force. A growing body of empirical evidence shows how conscience both shapes our lives and is shaped by our society. Yet for decades, scholarly experts (especially lawyers […]

, , , , , ,

Managing Business Ethics

Managing Business Ethics: Straight Talk About How To Do It Right by Linda K. Treviño and Katherine A. Nelson John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 5th ed. (2011) (public library) Summarized by David Newman Overview Treviño and Nelson present a fresh look at management as an exercise in shaping human behavior. Replete with psychological research on moral […]