Entries by Jeffrey Kaplan


A Behavioral Ethics and Compliance Primer

In 1991, when the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations went into effect, Compliance and Ethics (“C&E”) programs became a part of the business landscape in the United States. There was, at the time, a fairly widespread view among business leaders, and even some enforcement officials, that C&E programs were largely unnecessary: Good people, it was […]


Do Honesty Pledges Work?

Honesty pledges often sound like a good idea, but whether they are in any given situation depends on various factors. Just ask Jim Comey. In a recent paper, Eyal Pe’er, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Yuval Feldman, at Bar-Ilan University, take up the topic of honesty pledges. In their study, Pe’er and Feldman explored how pledges […]

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Do Compliance Officers Have an Inherent Conflict of Interest?

Should compliance be subordinated to legal, rather than separated from it? Yes, argues Sean J. Griffith, of the Fordham University School of Law, in a recent paper, titled “Agency, Authority, and Compliance.” This is an interesting and unusual perspective and one that I am not unsympathetic to. The abstract states: Compliance officers owe their professional existence […]

Understanding Behavioral Ethics Can Strengthen Your Compliance Program

Behavioral ethics is a well known field of social science which shows—due to various cognitive biases—“how we are not as ethical as we think.” Practitioners of behavioral compliance and ethics (C&E), which is less well known, use behavioral-ethics insights to develop and maintain effective compliance programs. How do they do that?   This should be viewed on two levels. […]

Being a Parent as a Source of Ethics Risk

In 1973, in speaking to colleagues on the Cook County Democratic Committee, Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago defended his having directed a million dollars of insurance business to an agency on behalf of his son John with the immortal words: “If I can’t help my sons, then [my critics] can kiss my ass. I make […]