Ethics Unwrapped Blog

Propaganda

Propaganda: Ethics & the Media

At an ethics conference in Virginia this year, Cara Biasucci and I met some of the people involved in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s exhibit, State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda, which focuses on propaganda in Germany before and during WWII. Anyone who visits this exhibit, currently on display at the Bullock Texas State […]

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Representation

Media representations of individuals or groups can hurt by reflecting stereotypes and mistaken beliefs or can help by being truthful and inclusive.

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A Brief Guide to Behavioral Legal Ethics

Guest blogger Tigran Eldred is an Associate Professor of Law at the New England School of Law in Boston.  He has a distinguished background as a public defender and civil rights lawyer before he joined academia.  However, our particular interest in his contribution relates to his interest in behavioral ethics as it applies to the […]

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Helping Your Employees Be Their Best Selves

There is no single correct way to teach business ethics.  A common approach combines philosophy and character development.  Teachers impart philosophical concepts for resolving difficult ethical issues and encourage students to develop and hone strength of character to give them the means to actually implement the solutions that develop. Any regular reader of this blog […]

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Moral Myopia

Moral myopia is a distortion of moral vision that keeps ethical issues from coming clearly into focus.

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5 Tips for A Peaceful Holiday Season

Happy Ethical Holidays! In his recent book “Drunk Tank Pink,” marketing professor Adam Alter demonstrates how color affects many peoples’ decisions and actions in ways they do not realize or understand.  A famous study shows, for example, that men arrested for public intoxication tend to be much less combative if confined in rooms painted pink […]

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Loss Aversion

We hate losses about twice as much as we enjoy gains, meaning we are more likely to act unethically to avoid a “loss” than to secure a “gain.” This phenomenon is known as loss aversion.

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Tangible & Abstract

Tangible and abstract describes how we react more to vivid, immediate inputs than to ones removed in time and space, meaning we can pay insufficient attention to the adverse consequences our actions have on others.

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Ethical Fading

Ethical fading occurs when we are so focused on other aspects of a decision that its ethical dimensions fade from view.

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Incrementalism

Referred to as the “slippery slope,” incrementalism describes how we unconsciously lower our ethical standards over time through small changes in behavior.

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Jailing Unethical Executives

Financial journalist Bethany McLean has co-written two of the best books on recent financial scandals—The Smartest Guys in the Room about the Enron debacle and All the Devils Are Here about the subprime mess.  In her blog, McLean recently addressed the question: “Does Jailing Executives Make Much Difference?” Judging from public reaction, jailing white collar […]

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Is S&P the next Enron?

In a recent New York Times column, Floyd Norris noted in detail the obvious similarities between the downfall of Arthur Andersen during the Enron debacle and the recent troubles of Standard & Poor’s and other credit rating agencies (CRAs). Arthur Andersen was in an inherent conflict-of-interest situation.  Like all auditors, it was paid by its […]

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Revenge Porn Sites

In teaching ethics in a business school, I typically focus upon decision making errors that well-intentioned people make.  I do so because I believe that most of my students do have good intentions, as do most people in business.  They want to have careers that they can be proud of. But even people of good […]

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