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Department of Finance Prof. Dr. Carmen Tanner

Personal Integrity

Promoting personal integrity, i.e., enhancing professional’s capability of acting in line with organizational and ethical standards has become vital beyond conventional regulation and compliance efforts. We have proposed a theoretical framework proposing that personal integrity requires “moral intelligence”; a set of perceptional, motivational, decisional, and behavioral competencies that are necessary to translate ethical values into practice (Tanner & Christen, 2014, Tanner, 2017)). We further argue that to manage ethical risks, companies should invest into fostering personal integrity, because a mere focus on legal compliance programs can lead to undesirable side-effects. In line with this, we therefore also work on developing digitally based learning tools for training purposes.

With a focus on the perceptual skill (“moral sensitivity”), we have developed and validated a diagnostic instrument to assess people’s sensitivity for ethical and business values (Schmocker, Tanner, Katsarov & Christen, 2023). Furthermore, we have developed and tested a “serious moral game” to train ethical awareness in a “safe” but realistic environment (Tanner, Schmocker, Katsarov & Christen, 2023; Katsarov et al., 2017; Katsarov et al., 2023). See also Column und Interview.

In a ongoing cross-national research project (DFG-SNF), we focus on people’s ability to make the “right” decision (“moral efficacy”) in difficult and conflicting situations in the workplace. We ask whether applying “simple but smart questions” may be sufficient to help people making good decisions. One goal will be to end up with a decision heuristic that will help leaders and employees to mitigate blind spots and increase their confidence in making the right decision (Wagner & Tanner (work in progress). See also Interview.

In another ongoing Innosuisse project, we aim to develop and test a decision heuristic that helps to mitigate blind spots and integrate ethical, legal and social aspects in digital-related decision making processes.