Dolly Chugh's blog

Featured Collaborator for October: Dolly Chugh

Interview with Dr. Dolly Chugh, Associate Professor in the Department of Management and Organizations, NYU Stern School of Business. [Find Dolly on Twitter]

What are your main areas of research? How can people better be attuned to their bounded ethicality?

I have always been fascinated by the three dimensional reality of human behavior. That is, none of us are perfectly ethical all of the time, and it's that reality that I am most interested in. In what ways are we less ethical and less egalitarian than we intend to be? Under what conditions? Why? Those questions lie at the heart of my work on bounded ethicality, which refers to the systematic and ordinary psychological constraints on our ethical behavior.  

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A powerful ethical intervention is just one pet story away

The natural conditions of the business world are breeding grounds for what psychologists call moral disengagement.  The psychology of moral disengagement allows us to do bad stuff and still feel okay about ourselves.  We morally disengage when we behave as a collective rather than as individuals, view others as numbers more than people, and distance ourselves from the impact of our decisions.  In other words, if we work in an organization and do not have personal contact with customers, we are likely to morally disengage.  This is dangerous, because a tight link between moral disengagement and unethical behavior has been found time and again by psychologists.  How can we break this link?

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