Morality and the Marketplace

I am headed to Tulane for a conference about why people behave badly.

Enron. Leman. Madoff. We’ve all heard about business scandals costing millions – even billions – of dollars. Bad behavior in the marketplace, however, is not limited to accounting. Whether taking bribes or stealing post-it notes, immoral behavior has a huge effect on people’s livelihoods and pocketbooks.

But why do people misbehave in the marketplace?

On Friday October 10, the Moral Research Lab (aka MoRL) will host thought leaders from Anthropology, Business, Economics, Philosophy, Psychology, and the National Institutes of Health to discuss their research on morality.

The Morality in the Marketplace conference is the brainchild of Janet Schwartz.  The conference marks the first time the Moral Research Team (aka MoRT) has come together in person to host a line-up of outstanding member speakers, experts, and the larger Tulane community.

A few of the talks:

– Alan Fiske (Anthropology, UCLA) will present a paper entitled “Why be nice? And how?”

– Mina Cikara (Psychology, Harvard) will present her work on intergroup relations in a talk called, “There is less “I” in teams”

– Tage Rai (Kellogg, Northwestern) will discuss his work on perceptions of organizational behavior: “Corporations are cyborgs: Organizations elicit anger but not sympathy when they can think but not feel.”


The Morality in the Marketplace is co-sponsored by the Murphy Institute, the D.W. Mitchell Lecture Fund as part of the Provost’s Faculty Seminars in Interdisciplinary Research, The A.B. Freeman School of Business, and Duke University’s Center For Advanced Hindsight.