Which college majors are best at promoting honesty… and some C&E career-related news and views

Recent COI Blog posts have looked at the impact of business settings on truth telling and have suggested – I hope not paradoxically – that home ethics can help elevate business ethics,   but that the latter might elevate political ethics.     Also relevant to the larger issue of the impact of business on ethics is this post from Dan Ariely’s always interesting blog   about a recent study of the impact of various socio- demographic factors on truth telling.   As described by  Ariely: “[R]esearchers Raúl López-Pérez and Eli Spiegelman … found  little difference in honesty as a factor of socio demographic characteristics or gender [but a] student’s major…was a different story.” In a result sure to please my French professor ex-wife,   they found that “those in the humanities, who were the most honest of all, told the perfect truth a little over half the time. The broad group of ‘other’ was a bit less honest with around 40% straight shooters. And how about the business and economics group? They scraped the bottom with a 23% rate of honesty.”  Ariely’s analysis and the dozens of comments on the blog are well worth the visit.

Another focus of some of our recent posts is mapping three areas of ethical impairment, each of which is close to the others – COIs themselves, bias and moral hazard.   To this mix should be added the territory of independence, which arguably contains elements of all three.  While the blog has had a multi-part series addressed to independence of investigations,    it has had only a few pieces –  here and here  –  on the topic of C&E officer independence.  For those looking for more information, here are two good places to start: a recent piece by Donna Boehme and Michael Volkov  presenting the view that C&E officers should not report to law departments, and a somewhat earlier article by  Ben Heineman (the former General Counsel of GE) with a different take on the issue.

And speaking of C&E officers, a few weeks ago the publisher of this blog – EthixBase, which also publishes the FPCA Blog   – launched  a new jobs portal  for compliance professionals.     They already have developed a very strong “inventory” of openings and I encourage you to let anyone looking for C&E work or workers know about this very useful resource.

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