Conflicts of interest, corruption and fraud: what are the connections?

[This essay was originally posted on the Conflict of Interest Blog]

Whether one is drafting a code of conduct or other C&E policy documents, developing training, designing audit protocols,  conducting a risk or program assessment or creating C&E metrics, it may be useful to bear in mind the relationships between COIs, corruption and fraud – particularly given the extent of overlap among these areas.  The following is offered as an overview of these connections, but note that these are intended only as general principles under US law; aspects of the analysis may differ under various other countries’ legal regimes, and even  some aspects of US law itself.

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Is Wall Street a bad ethical neighborhood?

[This essay was originally posted on the Conflict of Interest Blog]

For many years I taught ethics in the executive MBA program of a New York area business school. Because of the school’s location, the “day job” for many of the students was in the financial services field, and on average they seemed less ethics-focused than did the others.  I did not find this surprising – since for many years my “day job” was as a white collar criminal defense lawyer, and a disproportionate number of my clients were from that same industry.

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Featured Expert of the Month: Max Bazerman

Interview with Professor and Author Max Bazerman 

What is the main research themes for which you are known?

I believe that I am best known to different groups of scholars for different chunks of work. 

Perhaps the research of mine that other scholars first noticed was my integration of the field of behavioral decision research (aka behavioral economics, behavioral insights, etc.) for a managerial audience. Many leading scholars had their first exposure to the field by reading my book Judgment in Managerial Decision Making (now in its 8th edition, with Don Moore). I published the first edition in 1986, when business schools were not yet paying attention to the revolution created by the insights of Kahneman and Tversky.

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City-Level Business Ethics

[Editor’s note: We at EthicalSystems.org have been so pleased to learn about the activities of the Omaha Business Ethics Alliance that we invited its executive director, Beverly Kracher, to write a guest blog post introducing the Alliance. Cities are indeed an important and usually overlooked level in the nested systems that one should look at when doing ethical systems design.]

Guest post by Beverly Kracher, PhD, the Robert B. Daugherty Endowed Chair in Business Ethics & Society at Creighton University and Executive Director and President of the Business Ethics Alliance.

Since its inception, the discipline of business ethics has focused on strategies to help business leaders, organizations, professional associations, industry groups, and nations. But there is a missing ingredient in this recipe for keeping ethics front-of-mind and grappling with major business issues. I call it city-level business ethics.

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Risk assessment: law, economics, morality science…and liquor

[This essay was originally posted on the Conflict of Interest Blog]

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Profits should be a result of excellence--not the main goal

I recently received an email from Bill Budinger, the founder of Rodel Inc. Bill expressed a core idea of about great leadership: that if you put people and mission before profits, then the profits will flow. Bill went on to explain how putting profits first makes it very difficult to run an ethical company. Bill's formulation was so clear, and backed up with such authority of experience, that I asked him for permission to post his email. The key section is in bold, below.

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Dear Professor Haidt:

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The Operating System (OS) of Ethical Business

Bryan Johnson recently made a $100 million gift to launch the OS Fund. The OS Fund invests in bold, high-return ideas that “promise to reinvent the operating systems of life.”

Why is this relevant to ethical systems design? Because we’re trying to rewrite the OS of business to make it the primary driver of flourishing societies and there’s a lot to learn from their approach. There’s a quantum leap within reach by applying behavioral ethics, behavioral economics, psychology and systems thinking to business. 

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Ethical Systems is hiring

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Do you believe that business can be a much greater force for good in the world?  Do you want to help us make it so? We’re a non-profit collaboration of researchers at America’s top business schools who are drawing on the best social science research to help companies improve their ethical culture and behavior.

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Collaborators in the news for October

COLLABORATORS IN THE NEWS

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Featured Collaborator of the Month: Nicholas Epley

Featured Collaborator of the Month:

Professor Nicholas Epley, author of Mindwise: How We Understand What Others Think, Believe, Feel, and Want is the featured collaborator of the month for November. 

This section includes:

  • An interview with Professor Epley about his work and ethical systems design
  • A video of a talk he’s given
  • One of his academic articles
  • A popular article published in Salon
  • A summary of his recent book Mindwise
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