Categorizing Behavioral Ethics

400px-Category-diagramAs anyone who studies behavioral ethics knows or quickly learns, the subject contains a vast amount of material — much of which is primary research.  As a result, it is useful to find sources to help categorize the literature of the field.  For those interested in the behavioral aspects of legal ethics, Behavioral Legal Ethics by Jennifer Robbennolt and Jean Sternlight stands out as one of the most important. In addition, here are some other resources that I’ve found very useful:

(1) “Behavioral Ethics: Toward a Deeper Understanding of Moral Judgment and Dishonesty” by Max Bazerman & Francesca Gino. This article, by two of the leading researchers in the field, provides an excellent overview of the subject. Particularly helpful is their description of the types of influences that can produce intentional dishonesty compared to those that can produce unintentional dishonesty (note: Max Bazerman’s book, Blind Spots (co-authored with Ann Tenbrunsel), provides one of the most accessible overviews of the field).

(2) “Ethically Adrift: How Others Pull Our Moral Compass from True North, and How We Can Fix It” by Celia Moore and Francesca Gino. This article, again by leading researchers, situates the discussion of behavioral ethics inside a larger description of the many forces that can cause unethical misconduct inside organizations. The comparison of individual cognitive limitations and social influences that can produce unethical decision-making is particularly helpful.

(3) “Behavioral Ethics Meets Behavioral Law and Economics.” This article, by Yuval Feldman from Bar-Ilan University (who has written extensively about the intersection of behavioral science and law), is very useful in describing the complexity, nuance and areas of disagreement in behavioral ethics literature. It also nicely maps the different sources of research on, and relationship between, behavioral ethics and behavioral law and economics.

If anyone else has found other sources that provide useful overviews of the field, please share.  Thanks.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s