As a business professor, I’m always looking for teachable moments, in which a very relevant, very vivid event can make an impression upon my students and point them in the right direction. But today I say: Enough already. No more teachable moments, please. Volkswagen, my students already know that it’s wrong to put software in […]
Ethics Unwrapped Blog
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 […]
Moral myopia is a distortion of moral vision that keeps ethical issues from coming clearly into focus.
Moral muteness is when we communicate in ways that obscure our moral beliefs and commitments, or don’t voice moral sentiments at all.
Moral imagination is our ability to think outside the box and envision ways to be both ethical and successful.
Abramoff’s version of moral equilibrium, which describes our tendency to keep a running scoreboard in our heads that compares our self-image as ethical people to our actual behavior.
Abramoff’s version of role morality, which is our tendency to use different moral standards as we play different “roles” in society.
Abramoff’s version of the self-serving bias, which causes us to see things in ways that support our best interests and our pre-existing beliefs.
Abramoff’s version of overconfidence bias, which is our tendency to be more confident about our moral character and our ability to act ethically than is objectively justified.
Abramoff’s version of rationalizations, which are the excuses we make for not living up to our own, or society’s, ethical standards.
Abramoff’s version of framing, which describes how our judgments, including our ethical judgments, are affected just by how a situation is posed or viewed.
Featuring former lobbyist and convicted felon Jack Abramoff, this 25-minute documentary explores the biases and pressures he faced, and the consequences of his unethical decisions.
Bounded ethicality explains how predictable organizational pressures and psychological processes cause us to engage in ethically questionable behavior that is inconsistent with our own values and preferences.
Conformity bias refers to our tendency to take cues for proper behavior in most contexts from the actions of others rather than exercise our own independent judgment.
Framing describes how our responses to situations, including our ethical judgments, are impacted just by how those situations are posed or viewed.
Incentive gaming, or “gaming the system,” refers to when we figure out ways to increase our rewards for performance without actually improving our performance.
Referred to as the slippery slope, incrementalism describes how we unconsciously lower our ethical standards over time through small changes in behavior.
A moral agent is capable of acting with reference to right and wrong, and has the power to intentionally cause harm to another. A moral subject is anything that can be harmed.
When we do something good we get to thinking of ourselves as pretty good people, and can then give ourselves license to fail to live up to our own ethical standards. This phenomenon is known as moral equilibrium.
The self-serving bias causes us to see things in ways that support our best interests and our pre-existing points of view.
The overconfidence bias is our tendency to be more confident in our ability to act ethically than is objectively justified by our abilities and moral character.
Role morality is the tendency we have to use different moral standards for the different roles we play in society.
When making ethical decisions, the one consideration that a theory favors over all other considerations is called the Fundamental Moral Unit.