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Shawn’s Lecture on Ethics. I am a liar. Why we are unethical?. Cognitive Dissonance Assumptions Behind Unethical Decisions: Assumption #1--It’s a shortcut to success Assumption #2—Advantages outweigh disadvantages. The Perceived Advantages. speed profit path of least resistance

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why we are unethical
Why we are unethical?
  • Cognitive Dissonance

Assumptions Behind Unethical Decisions:

  • Assumption #1--It’s a shortcut to success
  • Assumption #2—Advantages outweigh disadvantages
the perceived advantages
The Perceived Advantages
  • speed
  • profit
  • path of least resistance
  • equity since others cheat (prisoner’s dilemma)
  • no disadvantages if not caught
a structured response
A structured response
  • What does it mean to be ethical?
  • Why does being ethical matter?
  • How do we become more ethical?
shawn s probability measures
Shawn’s Probability Measures
  • Chance of winning the Powerball Lotto
    • 1 in 36,000,000
  • Chance of correctly predicting the entire NCAA basketball brackets?
    • 1 in 36, 000, 000, 000
  • Chance of doing something unethical without suffering a cost?
    • Priceless.
    • 0 in 36,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
transcendental intuitive ethics
Transcendental, Intuitive ethics
  • An intuitive moral compass
  • Greatest leadership trait is trustworthiness (Den Hartog)
  • Best leaders are “servants” who subjugate their own needs (Collins)
  • Priests score higher than CEOs on Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (Druskat)
cognitive dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance
  • Cognitive dissonance
    • “Divided Soul of Corporate America” (Mitroff and Denton)
    • Majority feel cognitive dissonance (Renesch)
  • Dissonance decreases morale, productivity and successful completion of tasks
the psychological toll of being unethical1
The Psychological Toll of Being Unethical
  • Being Unethical Increases Autonomic Nervous System Stress
    • Lie detection as proof
    • Small rationalized decisions still create stress
the psychological toll of being unethical2
The Psychological Toll of Being Unethical
  • Sympathetic system is catabolic
  • Stress decreases health
  • Becomes a pattern– Sympathetic Response Dominance
negative effects of the soprano effect
Negative Effects of the Soprano Effect
  • Fatigue
  • Blood clotting
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Chronically tensed muscles
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Obesity
  • Increased sensitivity to pain
debating with the unethical choice
Debating with the unethical choice
  • Rationales—
    • It’s a quick way to get ahead…
    • You make more money…
    • I’m just one person…
    • The little stuff doesn’t matter…
    • It’s just one time…
  • All of these are wrong.
it s a quick way to get ahead
It’s a quick way to get ahead…
  • No, it decreases the chance of success
  • The costs to the organization
    • Undercut productivity and morale
      • Little’s research on personal projects
  • Good ethics, like self-concordant goals
    • Higher success because of elevated mood, endurance and drive
but you make money
But you make money…
  • No, you lose money. A lot of money.
    • Increased turnover and training costs (Mayfield)
      • 7 times more loyal if ethical
      • High levels of loyalty = increase 11% productivity
      • Low integrity = 34% more turnover
hey i m just one person
Hey, I’m just one person
  • Yes, but you’re the most important person
  • Leaders have the biggest impact (Morgan)
    • Leaders influence ethics more than peers
it s small so it doesn t matter
It’s small so it doesn’t matter…
  • Nope, just the opposite.
  • The little stuff matters more than the big stuff
    • Broken Window theory (Gladwell)
    • Tipping point: the epidemiology of poor ethics
it s just one time
It’s just one time…
  • Wrong again.
  • Single and small unethical decisions have global implications
    • Friendly Fire—Practical Drift (Snook)
how to change our lyin ways
How to Change Our Lyin’ Ways
  • Ethics are created only through habit and socialization
  • Creation of intervening mechanisms
  • Want to Know