See No Evil: When We Overlook Other People's Unethical Behavior
University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Kenan-Flagler Business School
Don A. Moore
University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business; Carnegie Mellon University - David A. Tepper School of Business
Max H. Bazerman
Harvard Business School - Negotiations, Organizations and Markets Unit
January 2, 2008
Harvard Business School NOM Working Paper No. 08-045
It is common for people to be more critical of others' ethical choices than of their own. This chapter explores those remarkable circumstances in which people see no evil in others' unethical behavior. Specifically, we explore 1) the motivated tendency to overlook the unethical behavior of others when we recognize the unethical behavior would harm us, 2) the tendency to ignore unethical behavior unless it is clear, immediate, and direct, 3) the tendency to ignore unethical behavior when ethicality erodes slowly over time, and 4) the tendency to assess unethical behaviors only after the unethical behavior has resulted in a bad outcome, but not during the decision process.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 29working papers series
Date posted: January 3, 2008 ; Last revised: August 5, 2009
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