“Without an awareness of blind spots, traditional approaches to ethics won’t be particularly useful in improving behavior. If, like most people, you routinely fail to recognize the ethical components of decisions, succumb to common cognitive biases, and think you behave more unethically than you actually do, then being taught which ethical judgment you should make is unlikely to improve your ethicality.”― Max H. Bazerman, Blind Spots: Why We Fail to Do What’s Right and What to do about it
This quote from Max Bazerman nicely describes the starting point of my research interest. More broadly, I am interested in why people in organizations fail to do the right thing. In this area, I am particularly interested in how incentives create blind spots and lead to fraudulent, corrupt, and dishonest behavior. We cannot reduce incentives in firms to blunt monetary transactions, but, for example, the feedback environment and other soft factors are factors that create blind spots.
In my work, I try to understand what prevents employees from doing the right thing and what companies can do to promote ethical behavior among their employees. My work is in the fields of behavioral ethics and economics. My research focuses mainly on the following topics:
- Incentives and dishonesty
- Teams and collaboration
- Feedback and performance
To approach my questions, I mainly use field and laboratory experiments.