Date posted: 21/05/2021

Give it a nudge: Behavioural insights into an ethical workplace

How behavioural economics can shape ethical performance by focusing on human motivation

In Brief

  • People are social beings who essentially want to do the right thing
  • Human behaviour is often affected by emotional drivers and unconscious biases
  • Policies and procedures need to be supported by personal empowerment

As the focus on ethical standards intensifies, governments and corporate leaders are achieving significant results by embracing the thinking underlying behavioural economics.

Drawing on the work of behavioural scientists this holistic view integrates psychological, emotional and social factors to explain how and why humans make decisions.

It proposes a fundamental shift from control to collaboration and encourages an environment where leaders focus on facilitation and empowerment rather than relying solely on policies and procedures.

Nudges are subtle suggestions towards certain choices that can help individuals close the gap between what they plan to do and what they actually do.

For anyone looking to enhance workplace ethics 'Give it a nudge' provides fascinating insights into approaches that can achieve transformative results.

The paper emphasises that organisations will be more effective if they understand that change is best achieved by altering the context in which decisions are made.

It also explains how people may behave unethically, even if they want to do the right thing, and that timely 'nudges' towards certain choices can help close the gap between what people plan to do and what they actually do.

Inspired by nudge theory, 'Give it a nudge' dives into topics such as bounded ethicality, framing, priming, and unconscious biases and equips readers with practical tips to enhance ethical performance within an organisation.

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