behavioral science

Featured Ethics and Behavioral Science Scholar for June: Caroline Webb

Interview with Caroline Webb, author of How to Have a Good Day and Expert on Ethics and Behavioral Science

What are your main areas of research/work?

I show people how to use insights from behavioral science to improve their performance and wellbeing at work. In practice that often means helping them rethink the way they set goals, approach important conversations, tackle their tasks, manage their workload, handle personal setbacks and sustain their energy from day to day. Sometimes this is through 1-1 coaching and team sessions for senior leaders, but it’s often through workshops and interactive speeches for larger groups too. I also advise a couple of companies on ways to use behavioral science more broadly, including McKinsey & Company where I did behavioral change work for 12 years.

 

What do most companies overlook when it comes to behavioral economics, psychology, and neuroscience?

The primary focus of applied behavioral science to date has been public policy – something I applaud as a one-time policy wonk myself. But there’s a lot of untapped opportunity in business. At the moment, behavioral insights are mostly being applied by folks in the marketing function, and to a lesser extent in strategic decision-making. I’m always surprised that there isn’t more making its way into the people and culture domain, both through the HR function and in everyday management. But I’m optimistic that this will change – and it’s my mission to help change it.

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By Design: Ethical Systems conference a great success

Ethical Systems, in collaboration with BSPA, held our first conference, Ethics By Design, on June 3. Thanks to the presenters and attendees, it was the behavioral science equivalent of an all-star game attended by the most passionate fans.

Close to 80 leaders from the ethics and compliance space, prominent professors from across the country and influential business leaders and thinkers came together to learn from what one participant called “a massive amount of brain power in the room.” And truly, it was. From those who wrote the seminal texts on business ethics to the people in charge of designing ethics programs at top companies, the attendee mix was evenly distributed among both academics and practitioners in order to stimulate dialog, research and connections.

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It’s time for policy makers to enter the 21st century

Can you imagine a world where marketers promoted products without knowledge of psychology and persuasion? Well, the equivalent is happening in policy making and international development- in fact it is the standard.

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2014 Highlights from Our Collaborators

2014 was a busy year. Here are some of the highlights from our collaborators.

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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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