Insights From

Business Ethics

Introducing ‘The Ethical Technologist’

If you are a business practitioner — or own a smartphone — you likely understand the battle marketers, content creators and digital platforms wage over your attention. You are also perhaps conscious of the toll this competition takes on your attention span and mental well-being. How can we change this toxic “attention economy” for the better?

Darden Ideas to Action: Most Read Stories of 2023

Trends and predictions for the AI world. The importance of careful communication. Groundbreaking research using neuroscience to predict human choices. Employee disengagement and what to do about it. The importance of generalists in a tech-driven working world. Darden Ideas to Action insights draw from faculty expertise, books, research and cases.

Challenges and Opportunities of Worker Hotlines

Worker hotlines have long been used to identify and address grievances in the workplace. However, these complaint mechanisms can often suffer from a multitude of inefficiencies related to both the operation of the hotline itself and the usage by the workers. Research explores four central causes of the problem and potential solutions.

Ethical Decisions, Character and Your Personal Vision

In an examination of the role of character in leadership and decision-making, Darden Professor Jared Harris offers guidance on creating a personal vision, defining one’s values, preparing for the defining moments of a professional career, and how to actively pursue one’s best self.

Here’s an Idea: Don’t Steal My Idea

It turns out that people perceive idea theft as a greater transgression than money theft and judge it more harshly, according to new research from Darden Professor Lillien Ellis. Further, people perceive the theft of creative ideas as worse than the theft of practical ones.

Innocent Until Proven Angry: Misperceptions of Righteous Indignation

The lady doth protest too much? Research shows that people are indeed likely to interpret anger as guilt in the face of an accusation — though it’s more likely an indication of innocence. Darden Professor Gabrielle Adams investigates various responses to accusations and how we interpret their veracity: angry denial, calm denial or silence.

The ‘Equal-Opportunity Jerk Defense’: When Rudeness Protects Prejudice

Sexism and rudeness: not mutually exclusive. New research shows that rudeness can hide sexism, as observers may dismiss perpetrators as “equal-opportunity jerks.” Darden professors explain how the phenomenon not only turns bad behavior into plausible deniability, it can also serve as a barrier to addressing sexism in the workplace.

Actionable Tactics Toward Racial Justice

People agree that racism is real and wrong, but what can they do about it? With actionable advice, a new book in the Giving Voice to Values series explores how we can move from examining the causes to actively being part of the solution. For example: realistic influence, practically addressing structures, and effectively promoting diversity.

Spotlight on Spotify: Scandal, Governance and the Potential for Prevention

Spotify is under scrutiny for content on Joe Rogan’s podcast and talent compensation. Darden experts explain how crises can be tempered with good governance — who’s on the board, how it thinks about risk, the business model, strategy, process and culture. Ultimately, “Governance is the way a firm organizes around and executes on its purpose.”

The Art of Community: The Potential and Power of Collective Art

Public art contributes to community pride, civic engagement, reduced crime and boosted economic activity — and can be enjoyed without the barriers of cost and class. Here, academics and community activists offer a five-stage framework by which community leaders and policymakers can tap into the power of collaborative art and its impact on society.