Annual Ethics Conference: Fresh takes on right and wrong

Author: Carol Elliott

Notre Dame Ethics Week 2012: Failed v. 'Fantastic' Financial Institutions

Business ethics has moved to the center stage of public scrutiny, even as regulators and the U.S. Congress call on Goldman Sachs and other investment banks to explain their involvement in the subprime mortgage market meltdown.

At the same time, business schools are recognizing that the study of business ethics should include insights from behavioral science in order to understand such issues as the organizational impact of a leader’s ethics, or the role of trust in the workplace.

The “Behavioral Business Ethics: Ideas on an Emerging Field” conference taking place May 21-22 at the Santa Fe Building in downtown Chicago will examine what “behavioral ethics” means, and the implications for organizations as well as academia.  The event is sponsored by the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Ethical Business Worldwide, and Erasmus University’s Erasmus Centre of Behavioural Ethics.

“The conference pulls together experts in the field of behavioral business ethics to highlight new insights that they have uncovered, as well as identify what we still need to understand,” said Ann E. Tenbrunsel, co-director of Notre Dame’s ethics institute and the Rex and Alice A. Martin Professor of Business Ethics.

Conference participants include: Max Bazerman of Harvard University, George Loewenstein of Carnegie Mellon, and Tom Tyler of New York University.

The conference also will host the sixth annual “Excellence in Ethics: Dissertation Proposal Competition” sponsored by the Institute for Ethical Business Worldwide. The competition takes place on Friday, May 21, also at the Santa Fe Building. Scholars from five universities will present their research into various topics related to behavioral business ethics, including whistle-blowing, interpersonal forgiveness and the responsibility dilemma of taking credit and blame in organizations.

The Institute for Ethical Business Worldwide at the Mendoza College of Business was created in 2001 with the vision to advocate ethical business conduct in a global setting. For more information about the Institute or the Behavioral Business Ethics conference, visit ethicalbusiness.nd.edu/

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