Date posted: 20/09/2016 5 min read

What drives unethical behaviour?

Navigating ethical failure in the banking and financial services industry

Our latest issue of future [inc] investigates themes and findings from global scandals in the banking and financial services industry.

Some scandals are caused by people who – driven by greed and the demands of a complex, fast-paced industry – choose to behave unethically.

However, evidence from social psychology points to an alternative explanation: a great deal of unethical behaviour is unconscious.

"Ethics is not definable, is not implementable, because it is not conscious; it involves not only our thinking, but also our feeling."
Valdemar W. Setzer Anthropologist

The paper proposes a number of interventions:

  • Harnessing data analytics to measure and reward non-financial performance
  • Engaging in conscious, principled reasoning
  • Reducing the risk of insularity
  • Making ethics part of the everyday conversation

Find out more

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