“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 by Max Bazerman describes nicely the starting point of my research interest. More broadly, I am interested in why employees in firms fail to do the right thing. In this area, I am mainly interested in how incentives create blind spots and lead to fraudulent, corrupt, and dishonest behaviors. 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 am trying to understand what prevents employees from doing the right thing and what firms can do to foster ethical behavior of its employees. My work is in the areas of behavioral ethics and economics. My research mainly focuses on the following topics :
- Incentives and dishonesty
- Teams and collaboration
- Feedback and performance
I mainly use field, and laboratory experiments to approach my questions.