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Ethics Beneath the Surface
Harris, Jared D.; Hernandez, Morela; Guarana, Cristiano Technical Note E-0409 / Published December 18, 2015 / 10 pages.
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Whereas there is much focus on improving the cognitive aspects of ethical decision-making, many of the drivers of managerial action are nondeliberative. The explosion of academic work in behavioral science has highlighted a number of decision traps, blind spots, and behavioral biases that can substantially influence ethical decision-making and action. This note focuses on a number of specific behavioral influences and how they relate to ethics. In addition to highlighting how these behavioral influences can impair decision-making, we discuss ways they can be harnessed to potentially improve ethical decisions and actions.




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  • Overview

    Whereas there is much focus on improving the cognitive aspects of ethical decision-making, many of the drivers of managerial action are nondeliberative. The explosion of academic work in behavioral science has highlighted a number of decision traps, blind spots, and behavioral biases that can substantially influence ethical decision-making and action. This note focuses on a number of specific behavioral influences and how they relate to ethics. In addition to highlighting how these behavioral influences can impair decision-making, we discuss ways they can be harnessed to potentially improve ethical decisions and actions.

  • Learning Objectives