Entries by Ethical Systems

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Leadership

For better or for worse, leaders in organizations hold the power to guide the ethical behavior of employees—by establishing standards, modeling (setting a good example), and enforcing consequences. Philosophers have been discussing ethical leadership (as in what leaders should do) for quite some time but the topic is relatively new as an area of social-scientific […]

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Cheating & Honesty

Cheating, misconduct, deception and other forms of unethical behavior are widespread today, not just in business but in sports, government, schools, and many other arenas. While the media often focuses on extreme cases of cheating and sensational scams (such as Madoff’s ponzi scheme)­­­, less attention is paid to what researchers call “ordinary unethical behavior.” For example: not reporting […]

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Contextual Influences

When we see someone doing something bad, we usually jump to the conclusion that the person is bad. Only later, if ever, do we consider the broader context—the social situation—which can strongly influence people’s behavior. Many of the classic experiments in social psychology are famous because they show how easily situations can overwhelm our moral […]

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Accounting

Accounting is the process of collecting, aggregating, validating, and reporting information about business performance. Until the last century, accountants focused almost exclusively on financial information generated from double-entry bookkeeping. Since then, their purview has expanded to many other financial and nonfinancial measures. Subfields are typically defined by the audience an accountant reports to: outside investors […]