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Kelley School of Business

Behavioral Ethics, Compliance, and Culture: Using Behavioral Insights to Increase Ethical Corporate Culture

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Description

How can behavioral science help your business improve legal compliance and build ethical culture?

Behavioral science is instrumental in understanding human decision-making and how it impacts behavior. We now have a litany of tools to “nudge” people toward a particular behavior, and business has taken the lead in employing behavioral tools to sell more products, influence more people, and run itself more efficiently.

One area of business where behavioral science carries special promise is ethics and compliance. Behavioral science offers innovative and cost-effective ways to implement new strategies, improve legal compliance, and build ethical culture—ways that are more likely to actually change ethical decision-making within a firm.

In this course, we will explore how your company can implement these cutting-edge insights to realize the promise of behavioral ethics and compliance, foster an ethical corporate culture, provide an ethically supportive work environment, and create a more ethical company.

Understand how to use insights from behavioral science to increase ethical corporate culture.

In this one-day course, you will be introduced to innovative ethics and compliance strategies and the behavioral science behind them. Grounded in established business ethics theory and practice, the course will explore System 1 & 2 thinking, loss aversion, nudging, and rationalizations, which help explain an individual’s ethical decision-making processes. Special attention will be paid to the effect our inherent biases, heuristics, and cognitive shortcuts have on undermining individual ethical action and creating behavioral ethics risk for the entire firm.

You will discover the compliance risks currently confronting business leaders, as well as the tactics for developing positive organizational cultures. You will explore the fundamental connections between good ethics and good business (sometimes referred to as the link between corporate social performance and corporate financial performance). Through reviewing a set of case studies, you will gain foundational strategies for fostering a corporate culture that encourages employees toward ethical conduct, lessening the short-cuts that can undermine compliance and ethics.

Finally, you will see how these “nudges” guide the development of trustworthy corporate culture through the alignment of organizational policies with incentives that reward ethical actions and which also create room for employees to tap into a naturalistic desire to achieve exemplary goals of which they are proud. The integration of these kinds of trust create ethical corporate culture.

Learning Outcomes: What You’ll Take Back to the Office

In this one-day course you will:

  • Understand the often unexpected behavioral risks associated with current corporate legal liability
  • Understand how the government’s increasing emphasis on corporate compliance programs raises the need for comprehensive ethics and legal compliance programs, which must include the tools of behavioral science
  • Appreciate the main psychological biases and cognitive obstacles people have that undermine their ability to objectively assess legal and ethical risks
  • Grasp a behavioral-based model of building ethical business culture that addresses both legal and ethical expectations in today’s market economy
  • Understand the significant economic advantages of good corporate reputation
  • Appreciate the relationship between the instrumental benefits of pursuing ethical good and pursuing ethical good for its own merit
  • Learn key foundational kinds of trust necessary for creating ethical corporate culture including the role of rules and policy making, the alignment of incentives with stated organizational goals, and the support of employees quest to engage in value-driven work

Who should attend

This course is ideal for mid to upper level business leaders interested ethical leadership, corporate compliance, and the foundations of trustworthy corporate cultures. This is not a course just for compliance professionals; it is aimed toward business leaders trying to better understand why good people do bad things and how to design their organizations in way that make it more likely for people to consistently achieve value-driven results and thereby enhance corporate reputation.

Experts

Todd Haugh is an Assistant Professor of Business Law and Ethics. His scholarship focuses on white collar and corporate crime, Areas of Expertise White collar and corporate crime; behavioral ethics; moral decision-making and critical thinking; sentencing and punishment for economic crime and pub...
Timothy L. Fort, PhD and JD, holds the Eveleigh Professorship in Business Ethics and is a professor of business law and ethics at the Kelley School of Business. Fort has written nearly 80 articles and 15 books including two winners of the Best Book Award from the Academy of Management for Social...
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