The real world isn't just good guys and bad guys. There’s a story behind every compliance problem, and even though it may not excuse anyone's behavior, it should be a reminder that people just like us make mistakes -- sometimes really big mistakes.
Entries in behavioral science (12)
We’ve all heard of them -- the Bernie Madoffs and Michael Milkens whose cinematic crimes have painted our perception of white-collar criminality.
A recent FCPA Blog post written by Bart Soenens, a tenured academic researcher at the University of Gent in the Netherlands and Jeroen Michels, a policy analyst at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris, posed the question “what exactly is the nature of human morality?” They also asked “are we hardwired for corruption or for integrity?"
Martin Kenney and I wrote a post for the FCPA Blog recently called "How, then, do we stop the fraudsters among us?". The post is structured as a conversation between us regarding psychodynamic and other non-conventional approaches to compliance and fraud. I’m quoted as saying “everyone is a fraudster.”
We conducted research on 30 corporate corruption FCPA cases resulting from SEC investigations and sanctions over the last 15 years. The aim of this research was to uncover what negative features these organizations have in their cultures.
One day, while doing ethnographic research in Southern Italy, I interviewed the mayor of a town in which there had been investigations of corruption related to the use of public infrastructure funds.
Compliance professionals often ask me how they can better communicate with their front-line teams. I usually respond, “Bring them in, ask them about the real risks they face, and the more upset you are by what you hear, the better that conversation is going.”
Behavioral science has provided us with impressive evidence on people being trustworthy, willing to trust others, guided by an intrinsic motivation and responsive to communication. We can utilize this contribution of behavioral science for preventing corruption.