Behavioral Business Ethics: Shaping an Emerging Field


This book takes a look at how and why individuals display unethical behavior. It emphasizes the actual behavior of individuals rather than the specific business practices. It draws from work on psychology which is the scientific study of human behavior and thought processes. As Max Bazerman said, "efforts to improve ethical decision making are better aimed at understanding our psychological tendencies."

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Behavioral Business Ethics: Shaping an Emerging Field

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This book takes a look at how and why individuals display unethical behavior. It emphasizes the actual behavior of individuals rather than the specific business practices. It draws from work on psychology which is the scientific study of human behavior and thought processes. As Max Bazerman said, "efforts to improve ethical decision making are better aimed at understanding our psychological tendencies."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Bringing together contributions from leading experts in the area of ethical decision making, Behavioral Business Ethics investigates a relatively new movement in business ethics. Editors De Cremer (Erasmus Univ., the Netherlands) and Tenbrunsel (Univ. of Notre Dame) make a compelling argument for the inclusion of viewpoints from psychology and sociology in business ethics conversations. Through a series of research essays, they present a solid rationale for investigating the behavioral aspects of ethical lapses rather than just the business aspects. Following an introductory chapter by the editors, chapters tackle a range of issues related to how ethical decision making can be influenced by the context and situation; the role of fairness and morality in the ethical behavior of organizational members; and how ethical behavior is impacted by bounded ethicality, or the awareness of the ethical implications of a decision. This volume is timely and represents a new, exciting direction for business ethics research and application. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and researchers." - B. B. Vitali, Christian Brothers University, CHOICE

"There is much to praise about this important book edited by two leaders in the blossoming behavioral ethics field. Its consistently high quality chapters bring together "old hands" and "new lights" to cover a wide variety of relevant topics, some of them quite intriguing. Students of behavioral ethics will find this to be an up-to-date book that cites a wide variety of relevant research and inspires us to push the boundaries of our knowledge about why people behave ethically and unethically in organizations." - Linda K. Treviño, Smeal College of Business, The Pennsylvania State University

"In bringing together the world’s leading researchers on ethical judgment and behavior, De Cremer and Tenbrunsel’s Behavioral Business Ethics presents a brilliant and compelling argument for why we need a fresh behavioral approach to the understanding of lapses in ethical conduct. Their timely and exciting volume will set the standard for not only where the field is going, but equally important, where it should go. This is a must read for organizational leaders, business school students, and academics who want to not only better understand this problem, but know what they can do about it." - Roderick M. Kramer, William R. Kimball Professor of Organizational Behavior, Stanford University

"Behavioral ethics takes us out of the idealized and stuffy world of philosophy and teaches us how people really act and why and when they deviate from their stated ethical norms. This book brings together a series of compelling chapters that illuminate three core aspects of behavioral ethics: a) the contexts the lead people towards the lure of immorality b) the mental gymnastics that people engage in to justify their morally questionable behaviors and c) behavioral interventions that keep people aligned with their moral compass." - Adam D. Galinsky, Morris and Alice Kaplan Professor of Ethics in Management, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

"This book is tremendously timely: it announces and marks the beginning of a promising new movement in ethics research. Behavioral business ethics has a single, central question - why people behave unethically. Social psychology provides a means and a set of theories that offer an opportunity for important new insights, and this first volume shows why. If you care about ethics, this book is a clarion call that you should immediately follow." - J. Keith Murnighan, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

"This is a very well thought out book. The topic is very popular and the contributors are among the most important people in the field. The whole topic is new and unique. Instead of focusing on the philosophical approaches to ethics, the editors focus on ethical behavior, which is very important. De Cremer and Tenbrunsel are absolutely top notch as scholars and editors." – Jerald Greenberg, Rand Corporation

"The book helps define the field of behavioral business ethics and understand how individual decision makers address ethical dilemmas. Scholars are asked to apply psychological theories of decision making to understand how individuals make ethical decisions. This book will stimulate discussion and suggest fruitful research in this fledgling but vitally important area of business leadership and management." - Manuel London, College of Business, State University of New York, Stonybrook

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415873246
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/24/2011
  • Series: Series in Organization and Management Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

David De Cremer is Professor of Behavioral Business Ethics at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Scientific director of the Erasmus Centre of Behavioral Ethics, and professor of Organizational Behavior at London Business School, UK. He is the recipient of many scientific awards including the British Psychology Society award for "Outstanding Ph.D. thesis in social psychology," the "Jos Jaspars Early Career award for outstanding contributions to social psychology," the "Comenius European Young Psychologist award," and the "International Society for Justice Research Early Career Contribution Award." He has published extensively in the main journals in the fields of psychology, management and organizational behavior, edited five books and nine special issues and written a book on "When good people do bad things: Illustrating the psychology behind the financial crisis." His work has been discussed in the American Scientist, The Economist and The Financial Times. He writes regularly columns and opinion pieces in the financial newspapers and magazines in the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK. In 2009 he was elected as the best publishing Economist in the Netherlands. Previously, De Cremer held teaching and research positions at New York University (Department of Psychology and Centre of Experimental Social Sciences), Harvard University (Kennedy School of Government), Maastricht University (Department of Organization Studies and Department of Psychology), and Tilburg University (Department of Psychology). De Cremer holds a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Southampton, England, and an M.A. in Social Psychology from the University of Leuven, Belgium.

Ann E. Tenbrunsel (Ph.D., Northwestern University; M.B.A. Northwestern University; B.S.I.O.E. University of Michigan) is a Professor in the Mendoza College of Business at The University of Notre Dame and the Arthur F. and Mary J. O'Neil Co director of the Institute for Ethical Business Worldwide. Her research interests focus on the psychology of ethical decision-making, with her dissertation on this topic winning the State Farm Dissertation Award. Her work in this area has focused partially on the situational factors that lead to unethical decision-making, including the role that temptation, uncertainty, power and sanctions play in the ethical decision-making process. More recently, she has explored the process of ethical fading, arguing that individuals often make unethical decisions because the ethical aspects of the decision are hidden to the decision maker. She has also examined the role that organizations play in promoting unethical decisions, including the influence of formal and informal systems. In addition to recently coauthoring a review of the ethics field, she is the co-editor of four books on these topics and has published her research in a variety of journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Applied Psychology, and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. She is currently serving on the Editorial Board of Business Ethics Quarterly and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes and has served as a guest editor for the Journal of Business Ethics. Ann has received grants from the National Science Foundation to pursue her work and has published teaching materials on ethical and environmental issues that have been used both domestically and internationally.

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Table of Contents

A.P. Brief, Series Foreword. Part 1. Introduction. D. De Cremer, A.E. Tenbrunsel, On Understanding the Need for a Behavioural Business Ethics Approach. Part 2. A View on Behavioral Business Ethics. A.P. Brief, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: What Behavioral Business Ethics Researchers Ought to be Studying. Part 3. Ethics and Social Context. M. Schminke, M. Priesemuth, Behavioral Business Ethics: Taking Context Seriously. M. Hernandez, S.B. Sitkin, Who is a Leader? Follower Influence on Leader Ethicality. Part 4. Fairness and Morality. E. van Dijk, E.W. de Kwaadsteniet, L. Koning, About Behaving (Un)ethically: Self-interest, Deception, and Fairness. R. Folger, Deonance: Behavioral Ethics and Moral Obligation. G.R. Weaver, M.E. Brown, Moral Foundations at Work: New Factors to Consider in Understanding the Nature and Role of Ethics in Organizations. T.R. Tyler, Defining Behavioral Ethics: The Role of Morality in Business Organizations. Part 5. Bounded Ethicality. J. Dana, G. Loewenstein, R. Weber, Ethical Immunity: How People Violate Their Own Moral Standards Without Feeling They are Doing So. L.L. Shu, F. Gino, M.H. Bazerman, Changing Our Attitudes to Resolve Moral Dissonance.

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