Is There a Problem with Meaningful Work?

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The eminent philosopher Bertrand Russell, who died exactly 50 years ago at the impressive age of 97, once penned a polemic lauding laziness. Beginning on a humorous note—he wrote of having hopes that, after reading his essay, the leaders…

Business Roundtable Wants Fair Employee Payment, But What About Agency?

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The problem with the modern workplace is deeper than the ideology of shareholder primacy. Well into his 30s, my father ran a pool-plumbing business that just got us by: Sometimes clients wouldn’t pay, and when they did, it wouldn’t be…

Evolutionary Thinking Can Help Companies Foster More Ethical Culture

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Humans have some basic needs that work should fulfill if organizations want to get the best out of them. Charles Darwin ended The Origin of Species, his argument for evolution by natural selection, on a note of celebrated eloquence. “There…

Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics

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What do economics, psychology, and experimental science have in common? As Richard Thaler implies in Misbehaving: The making of behavioral economics, most economists would say little to none — but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Misbehaving is, first and foremost, a story of how modern economics, finance, and theoretical analysis have become increasingly specialized and narrow without substantial practical value. Utilizing empirical studies and anecdotes, funny stories, and even some jokes, Thaler persuades the reader that behavioral studies — or psychology-motivated disciplines which focus on humans, not mythical rational agents — are here to stay. 

Thaler’s findings have numerous and far-reaching implications for designing and implementing ethical systems within organizations. Read our book review and learn more.

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Nudge

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Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness Richard H. Thaler, Cass R. Sunstein Penguin Books, Revised & Expanded edition (2009) (public library) Summarized by Erick Rabin Introduction Choice Architecture involves…

The Lucifer Effect

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The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil by Philip Zimbardo Random House Publishing Group, 1st Ed. Reprint (2008) (public library) Summarized by Joshua Elle Overview In a compelling story of his own life's journey, Phil…

Fairness

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INTRODUCTION  Image: J.-H. Janßen, "Justice" statue, via Wikimedia Commons Every organization must confront the challenge of motivating its work force. From research on fairness in organizational contexts (‘organizational justice research’)…