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Codes of Conduct: Behavioral Research into Business Ethics / Edition 1

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Despite ongoing efforts to maintain ethical standards, highly publicized episodes of corporate misconduct occur with disturbing frequency. Firms produce defective products, release toxic substances into the environment, or permit dangerous conditions to existin their workplaces. The propensity for irresponsible acts is not confined to rogue companies, but crops up in even the most respectable firms. Codes of Conduct is the first comprehensive attempt to understand these problems by applying the principles of modern behavioral science to the study of organizational behavior.

Codes of Conduct
probes the psychological and social processes through which companies and their managers respond to a wide array of ethical dilemmas, from risk and safety management to the treatment of employees. The contributors employ a wide range of case studies to illustrate the effects of social influence and group persuasion, organizational authority and communication, fragmented responsibility, and the process of rationalization. John Darley investigates how unethical acts are unintentionally assembled within organizations as a result of cascading pressures and social processes. Essays by Roderick Kramer and David Messick and by George Loewenstein focus on irrational decision making among managers. Willem Wagenaar examines how worker safety is endangered by management decisions that focus too narrowly on cost cutting and short time horizons. Essays by Baruch Fischhoff and by Robyn Dawes review the role of the expert in assessing environmental risk.

Robert Bies reviews evidence that employees are more willing to provide personal information and to accept affirmative action programs if they are consulted on the intended procedures and goals. Stephanie Goodwin and Susan Fiske discuss how employees can be educated to base office judgments on personal qualities rather than on generalizations of gender, race, and ethnicity. Codes of Conduct makes an important scientific contribution to the understanding of decisionmaking and social processes in business, and offers clear insights into the design of effective policies to improve ethical conduct.

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Editorial Reviews

Comprising the proceedings of the 1994 conference on Behavioral Research and Business Ethics held at Northwestern U., the 18 contributions to this volume examine problems of business ethics by applying the principles of modern behavioral science to the study of organizational behavior. Chapters are divided into two major sections: social and organizational processes and risk, reasoning, and decision-making. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871545947
  • Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
  • Publication date: 1/1/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 419
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

DAVID M. MESSICK is at the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.

ANN E. TENBRUNSEL is at the College of Business Administration, University of Notre Dame.

CONTRIBUTORS: Jonathan Baron, Max H. Bazerman, Maura A. Belliveau, Francisco J. Benzoni, Robert J. Bies, Marilynn B. Brewer, Robert B. Cialdini, John M. Darley, Robyn M. Dawes, Thomas Donaldson, Baruch Fischhoff, Susan T. Fiske, Robert H. Frank, Stephanie A. Goodwin, Russell Hardin, Helmut Jungermann, Joshua Klayman, Roderick M. Kramer, George Loewenstein, Robert Mauro, Ann L. McGill, David M. Messick, Myron Rothbart, Ann E. Tenbrunsel, Tom R. Tyler, Kimberly A. Wade-Benzoni, Willem A. Wagenaar, and Patricia H. Werhane.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Behavioral Research into Business Ethics 1
Ch. 1 How Organizations Socialize Individuals into Evildoing 13
Ch. 2 Social Influence and the Triple Tumor Structure of Organizational Dishonesty 44
Ch. 3 Ethical Cognition and the Framing of Organizational Dilemmas: Decision Makers as Intuitive Lawyers 59
Ch. 4 Can Socially Responsible Firms Survive in a Competitive Environment? 86
Ch. 5 Beyond the Hidden Self: Psychological and Ethical Aspects of Privacy in Organizations 104
Ch. 6 Judge not, Lest ...: The Ethics of Power Holders' Decision Making and Standards for Social Judgment 117
Ch. 7 Social Categories and Decision Making: How Much Differentiation Do We Need? 143
Ch. 8 In-Group Favoritism: The Subtle Side of Intergroup Discrimination 160
Ch. 9 Managing Work Force Diversity: Ethical Concerns and Intergroup Relations 171
Commentary: The Business Ethics of Social and Organizational Processes 187
Ch. 10 Do No Harm 197
Ch. 11 Behavioral Decision Theory and Business Ethics: Skewed Trade-Offs Between Self and Other 214
Ch. 12 Responsibility Judgments and the Causal Background 228
Ch. 13 Ethics as Hypothesis Testing, and Vice Versa 243
Ch. 14 Environmental Degradation: Exploring the Rift Between Environmentally Benign Attitudes and Environmentally Destructive Behaviors 256
Ch. 15 The "Public" Versus the "Experts": Perceived Versus Actual Disagreements About Risks 275
Ch. 16 Incremental, Validity, Expertise, and Ethics 289
Ch. 17 Ethical Dilemmas in Risk Communication 300
Ch. 18 The Ethics of Not Spending Money on Safety 318
Commentary: The Business Ethics of Risk, Reasoning, and Decision Making 328
Summary: The Psychology of Business Ethics 342
References 362
Index 395
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