Morality Rebooted: Exploring Simple Fixes to Our Moral Bugs



It is almost impossible to open a newspaper or turn on a television without being exposed to a report of dishonest behavior of one type or another. Names such as Enron, Tyco, and Arthur Andersen provide extreme examples; other examples include cheating on taxes, insurance fraud, and employee theft. This large number of instances of unethical behavior raises the question of why people behave dishonestly. How can we explain such widespread dishonesty? In this talk, I will discuss why even good people end up crossing ethical boundaries, and I will present studies identifying a few simple fixes to eliminate our moral bugs.


Francesca Gino is an associate professor of business administration in the Negotiations, Organizations & Markets Unit. She is also formally affiliated with the Program on Negotiation. She teaches Negotiation in the MBA elective curriculum and in Executive Education programs at the School. She also co-teaches a PhD course on Decision Making and Ethics.

Professor Gino's research focuses on judgment and decision-making, ethics, social influence, and creativity. Her work has been published in academic journals including the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Organization Science, and Psychological Science, as well as in numerous book chapters and practitioner outlets. Her studies have been featured in The Economist, The New York Times, Newsweek, Scientific American, and Psychology Today, and her work has been discussed on National Public Radio and CBS Radio. Professor Gino has earned major research awards from the National Science Foundation and the Academy of Management. In addition to teaching, she advises firms and not-for-profit organizations in the areas of negotiation, decision-making, and organizational behavior.

Before joining the Harvard Business School faculty, Professor Gino taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and at the Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to her Carnegie Mellon appointment, she spent two years at HBS as a postdoctoral fellow, lecturer, and senior researcher. A native of Italy, Professor Gino holds a Ph.D. in economics and management from the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa. She is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Trento.

This research seminar is organised by the Erasmus Centre for Marketing of Innovation (ECMI).
Contact information:
Dr. G. Liberali