Sunday, August 18, 2019
Last week, I posted about the Annual Conference of the Academy of Legal Studies in Business. Since then, I reflected on Robert Prentice’s fantastic presentation at this event on Ethical Decision Making and the Conformity Bias. So, I decided to mention the conference again both to highlight Prentice’s extensive and important work in business ethics, and to remind – and perhaps in some cases, introduce – BLPB readers of a phenomenal teaching resource: Ethics Unwrapped, a program within the Center for Leadership and Ethics (CLE) at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas.
Prentice’s conference talk was entertaining, engaging, and thought-provoking. Here’s the description: Even the best people are only boundedly ethical. A wide range of social and organizational pressures, cognitive heuristics and biases, and situational factors affect (often adversely) people’s ethical decision making. This paper explores one of these influences that is often underestimated—the conformity bias, which is the tendency that people have to take their cues as to what to think and how to act from those around them, particularly members of their in-group. Click here to download the paper: Download Conformity Bias Paper Montreal
One of the many videos offered by Ethics Unwrapped is on the conformity bias. As with other videos on this site, it is also accompanied by related discussion questions, case studies, teaching notes, and additional resources. If you’ve never browsed the website, I highly encourage you to spend a few minutes familiarizing yourself with [t]his free educational program…used around the world by more than 1,200 colleges and universities, in hundreds of businesses and organizations, and by tens of thousands of ethics learners. It will definitely be time well spent!