Chapter 10 Context corrupts: what makes leaders fail to see their (mis)behaviors
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Although leaders value ethics and morality they frequently (mis)behave. Recent work suggests that unethical behavior is caused by 'ethical blind spots' - biases that make leaders pay little (or no) attention to their wrongdoings. But what causes blind spots? When do they emerge? And most importantly, can we reduce them? Here, we review literature on attention, psychology, and behavioral ethics to answer these questions. Overall, the research suggests that context corrupts: In ambiguous - where ambiguity serves as a justification for wrongdoings - and tempting situations, many well-intentioned people quickly focus on what's unethical wrong (but self-serving more profitable) at the expenses on what is ethical right (yet less profitable). This shift of attention makes leaders ethically blind. We conclude by suggesting possible interventions to fight blind spots and encourage future research to adopt a multidisciplinary approach to help leaders exercise good moral judgment and foster ethical climates.

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Editors: Anna B. Kayes and D. C. Kayes
Monograph Book