Ann Tenbrunsel, University of Notre Dame

Moral Blind Spots
Ann Tenbrunsel


Fall 2022
Lecture Time: 
Friday, October 28, 2022 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm
Lecture Location: 

R0240, Ross School of Business, Lower Level

Introduced By: 
Amina Abdu


Why do efforts designed to improve ethical behavior in the workplace continue to over promise and under deliver? This presentation will explore the role that moral blindspots play in unethical behavior as a potential explanation. Drawing on the burgeoning field of behavioral ethics, which examines how and why people behave the way they do in the face of ethical dilemmas, discussion will reveal that much of our ethical behavior occurs without conscious awareness, leading to a gap between perceptions of our ethicality and our actual ethicality. Ignoring these blindspots is argued to be a root cause of why well-intended efforts to improve ethical behavior continue to disappoint. The presentation will focus on the causes of these blindspots, including ethical illusions, ethical fading, sanctioning systems, and motivated blindness. The talk will conclude with insights on how to overcome these dangerous obstacles to ethical behavior.

Recording & Additional Notes

Dr. Ann E. Tenbrunsel (Ph.D., Northwestern University; M.B.A. Northwestern University; B.S.I.O.E. University of Michigan) is a professor in the College of Business Administration at the University of Notre Dame and is the David E. Gallo Professor of Business Ethics. Her current research interests focus on the psychology of ethical decision making, examining why employees, leaders and students behave unethically, despite their best intentions to behave to the contrary. Ann is the author, co-author, or co-editor of six books on this topic—including Blind Spots (with Max Bazerman)—and over 50 research articles and chapters. Her research has been featured in interviews airing on MSNBC and National Public Radio, and adaptations, excerptions and references to her work have appeared in a variety of publications, including The New York Times, US News and World Report, Chronicle of Higher E, Harvard Business Review, Forbes and Freakonomics. Ann teaches at the executive, MBA, and undergraduate levels and was named as Poets & Quants Favorite MBA professor.