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Symposium 2015

Virtual Library File - Business Culture and Dishonesty in the Banking Industry

The Challenge

How can the communities of people around the globe be induced to become more caring, not just within the social groups from which they derive their identities, but also across these groups? As the w ...

How can the communities of people around the globe be induced to become more caring, not just within the social groups from which they derive their identities, but also across these groups? As the world's problems - from climate change to financial crises - become more global in reach, how can people's domain of altruism be extended accordingly? What concrete steps can be taken across countries and cultures to strengthen the bonds of cooperation and weaken the forces of conflict?

At least equally important to values of workers in the public sector are values and business culture in the private sector. This study shows that bank employee’s are only then found to shirk more if their identity as a banker together with the prevailing business culture in this industry is stressed. It goes without saying that this implies that making an identity salient (banker) is at the same time associated with particular behaviors of this identity which then even influences these people to actually adopt these identities and behaviors although they would not have behaved this way without this priming. This in turn implies that if other identities (other than banking) were evoked, or the bankers constantly would have trained their compassion abilities, this might have led to different behavior. The last part of this article serves as a model example of proposing solutions to how prevailing norms in a concrete business case might be changed. Proposed solutions are: Making bankers take a professional oath, giving bankers an ethics training and giving ethics reminders.