Jonathan Haidt, Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business, was interviewed by strategy+business and shares his insight and expertise on ethical systems design and the various initiatives of our organization.
What causes a company to undermine its own future through ethical missteps? What enables it to lie to regulators, conceal critical data, and take chances on fraudulent activity that might, sooner or later, come to light? Is it the rapacious nature of capitalism itself, as some believe? Is it the work of a few “bad apples,” unavoidable in a milieu of dynamic innovation? Or is it some innate aspect of human behavior, impossible to regulate completely, but possible to understand? This inquiry, framed by Jonathan Haidt and a global network of colleagues, could help keep companies out of trouble in the future — or perhaps change our view of what trouble really means.