Meet Alison Taylor, Ethical Systems’ New Executive Director

Over the years I’ve found it common, interviewing people, to hear that their line of work wasn’t what they envisioned for themselves. A game theorist I spoke to not too long ago, for example, had originally planned to study spacetime…

Leaked Boeing Emails Show Slippery Slope of a Bad Compliance Culture

Today’s hyper-transparent environment has given the public stunning opportunities to review internal communications from executives at leading companies and to pass real-time judgments on the strengths and vulnerabilities of their cultures.…

Anti-Corruption and Human Rights Efforts Will Converge in 2020

In considering external operating risk, it has long been clear that corruption and negative human rights impacts correlate keenly. Underpaid doctors who require bribes before they will admit your child to a hospital immediately undermine your…

The Psychology of Ford’s Fiesta and Focus Cover-Up

It started with a trail of car owners bringing their Fords to repair shops. Eventually, it escalated to an out-of-control hemorrhaging of warranty costs and legal bills. Now Ford faces a federal criminal fraud probe into its conduct. Did the…

Here Is What Replaces Shareholder Primacy

One day, about a decade ago, an evolutionary biologist from Binghamton, New York, made a decision: He’d use his knowledge of humanity’s social nature to try to understand and improve its social life, especially in his hometown.

End of Year Letter, 2019

Last year brought big changes, for the business community and for Ethical Systems. First, the business community: For those of us who care about ethics and corporate culture, 2019 was a landmark year. This is because the Business Roundtable…

The Problem with Hiring Algorithms

If something like hunger can affect a hiring manager’s decision—let alone classism, sexism, lookism, and other “isms”—then why not rely on the less capricious, more objective decisions of machine-learning algorithms? In 2004, when…

Do Traditional Compliance Efforts Weaken Workers’ Moral Motivation?

How can organizations actualize their employees’ ethical potential? It’s a question Carsten Tams has been tossing around recently. In his time helping companies with organizational design and cultural change, among other things, he’s come…

Can Business Schools Have Ethical Cultures, Too?

Early in Managing Business Ethics: Straight Talk About How to Do It Right, I had to wonder whether an anecdote the authors share was apocryphal. It comes in a section of the book’s seventh edition (published in 2017) called “Moving Beyond…

The Real Difference Between Autocratic and Empowering Leaders

When President Trump made an impromptu appearance at the United Nations at the same time Greta Thunberg was visiting the assembly of international dignitaries, it was almost as if they were meant to meet in person. But they did not. After sailing…