Upcoming Course on Organizational Ethics

Some readers might be familiar with Professors Guido Palazzo and Ulrich Hoffrage from the University of Lausanne who have written about the unconscious aspects of ethical decision-making.  Here, for example, is the abstract of their co-authored article, Ethical Blindness:

Many models of (un)ethical decision making assume that people decide rationally and are in principle able to evaluate their decisions from a moral point of view. However, people might behave unethically without being aware of it. They are ethically blind. Adopting a sensemaking approach, we argue that ethical blindness results from a complex interplay between individual sensemaking activities and context factors.

CourseraBut why only read about these fascinating themes? Palazzo and Hoffrage have now teamed up to produce a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) through Coursera scheduled to start in two weeks.  Entitled, “Unethical Decision Making in Organizations,” the description sounds fascinating:

This course “Unethical decision making in organizations : A seminar on the dark side of the force” will teach you how strong organizational contexts push good people towards unethical decisions. You will also learn how to protect yourself and your organization against such forces lurking in the dark.

Need a bit more enticement?  Here’s the promotional video:


Anyone can sign up for the course here, free of charge.


3 responses to “Upcoming Course on Organizational Ethics

  1. Catherine O'Grady

    This course looks great! I am in the process of designing a survey to be distributed to new attorneys regarding ethical decision making and given that it is my first attempt at a survey, I have just enrolled in a MOOC on Questionnaire Design offered by two University of Michigan faculty members. Here is the information on that course for those who may be interested. (Funny that a few years ago, I had never heard of a “MOOC,” and now I’m enrolling in two of them.) Thanks for the information Tigran!
    Cathy O’Grady

    Dear colleagues,

    We would like to alert you to a new course – a massive open online course (MOOC) – on Questionnaire Design created at the University of Michigan by faculty from the University of Michigan’s Program in Survey Methodology (MPSM) and the University of Maryland’s Joint Program in Survey Methodology (JPSM).

    The test round of the course launched in July and ran through the end of August with students from 180 countries participating. The next launch will be Monday October 6th, as part of the regular set of MOOC offerings from the University of Michigan via the Coursera Platform.

    Participation in the course is free of charge. Students will receive statement of accomplishment from Coursera but no formal university credit for completing the course (for those interested in credit for online courses, keep your eyes out for announcements on the JPSM/MPSM websites. We are planning to expand our offerings there too).

    The course was developed for students with a broad range of backgrounds, from novices to survey professionals looking for more formal exposure to the science of questionnaire design. For details on the course see the Coursera course description below.

    Frauke Kreuter and Fred Conrad

    Here are a few more details:
    Link to the website: https://www.coursera.org/course/questionnairedesign

    Course Structure: 6 week-long units, each unit consisting of about 5-6 short video segments, quizzes, questionnaire design exercises, and final exam.
    Effort required: About 2-3 hours per unit

    Course Dates: October 6th – December 1st (including time to submit exam)

    Target Audience: Students and professionals from across the social sciences and related fields, who are interested in collecting survey data. Examples: professionals at government statistical agencies and survey firms, market researcher firms or corporate marketing departments, and polling and media organizations. In university-based versions of this course, students typically come from Communication Studies, Public Health, Nursing, Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, Economics, Criminology, Medicine, Marketing, Marketing Research and Public Policy. We again expect wide variation in students’ geography and culture.

    Prerequisites: Familiarity with use of surveys for conducting substantive research

    Learning Outcomes: Basic competence designing and evaluating questionnaires. The main goal of this class is to expose students to in basic approaches to designing questions that will reduce bias and measurement error, and to create awareness of the associated scientific literature. Students will critique existing questions and a peer review mechanism will allow students to get feedback to their own questionnaires.

    Topics Covered: Psychological foundations of response process, basic processes of understanding questions, Grice’ conversational maxims, relevant processes of memory and recall, placement of events in time, comprehension of response scales, judgment in choosing an answer from alternatives, reporting behavioral frequencies, effect of social desirability on answers, practical techniques for asking sensitive questions, qualitative and quantitative methods for evaluating questions, mode-specific questionnaire characteristics, methods of standardized and conversational interviewing.

    Readings: Journal articles available free via online-access are used as class material. Special thanks to POQ for supporting us in this effort.

    Assessment: Each week: 1 homework assignment/quiz will be due. Final exam (multiple choice) will be administered at the end of the course. Videos have quizzes embedded that are not part of the assessment.

    Instructors: Both instructors have offered two classes that jointly form the material for this course. Prof. Fred Conrad has taught Cognition, Communication and Survey Measurement for 15 years in JPSM and MPSM, and Prof. Frauke Kreuter has taught Questionnaire Design in JPSM and MPSM for 10 years. Both have contributed actively to relevant research literature.

  2. Wow Cathy, this looks great — but when will I prep my classes!

  3. Pingback: Teaching BLE: Ethical Fading | Behavioral Legal Ethics

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