In 2017, two Roundtable events will be held.
This Roundtable will focus on Ethics and Incentives and will serve as a no-frills debate about how we choose, promote, design, and advise in social science and business. For information on our other Roundtable on Big Data, please see here.

People behaving badly not only make headlines – e.g., Ian Narev,  Brian Wansink, Harvey Weinstein, and so on  – but by virtue of their position in society, they can have damaging spillovers on many other individuals and groups.  Matters of ethics are central to professions across the social sciences, from management consultants to economic advisors to accountants.  Each of these groups, like our society at large, is defined by a set of ideals that includes being “ethical” – and those who don’t adhere to those ideals, supposedly, are thrown out of the group.  But are they?

In this first-of-its-kind network-and-grapple event, UNSW’s Behavioural Insights for Business and Policy (BIBaP) Research Network and the NSW branch of the Economic Society of Australia bring experts together to face today’s most pressing questions about the incentives of ethics – and the ethics of incentives – in behavioural science and business practice, such as (but not limited to):
  • What uses of “nudges,” defaults, and “big data” are “ethical”, and which are not?  Is achieving higher market share a less noble goal than helping people overcome their innate cognitive biases? Is there a dark side to nudges?
  • What can the government, academia, businesses, professions, or other groups do to encourage ethical practices?  What institutional arrangements hold potential, and which are merely for show?  How much of a role can direct monitoring play? How important might reputational enforcement mechanisms be?
  • Which types of powers catalyse unethical behaviour?  Which powers push people to remain ethical?  What accountability mechanisms work to purge groups of unethical conduct?

A key goal of the event is to generate and start to answer questions that would benefit from further collaborative work between industry and the academy, through Commonwealth grants or other research funding schemes.

TIMING AND VENUE:  Friday, 17 November, 12:30 – 6 PM, location to be announced to invited participants (the venue is downtown, near Martin Place)

Light lunch (12:30 – 1:15 PM)

Block 1: Ethics in Individuals:  (Dis)Honesty at the Micro Level – Does the Buck Stop with You?  
(c. 1 hour 45 minutes, 1:15 – 3 PM)
(Moderator: Gigi Foster, Associate Professor, UNSW School of Economics)
– Andreas Ortmann, Professor, UNSW Business School (15-20 minute talk)
– Pamela Hanrahan, Professor, UNSW Business School (15-20 minute talk)
– Group discussion

Coffee/tea break (3 – 3:30 PM)

Block 2:  Ethics in Groups:  Institutional Problems and Solutions
(c. 1 hour 45 minutes, 3:30 – 5:15 PM)
(Moderator:  Andreas Ortmann, Professor, UNSW Business School)
– Dennis Gentilin, Founding Director, Human Systems Advisory (15-20 minute talk)
– Pascal Bourgeat, Director of Behavioural Science, Ipsos Australia (15-20 minute talk)
– Group discussion

Drinks/canapés (5:15 – 6 PM)

Spaces are strictly limited.  Please send Expressions of Interest to BIBaP@unsw.edu.au, cc: Nicola.Cole@unsw.edu.au, by no later than 4 November 2017.

Our other Roundtable will focus on Big Data, Theory and Behavioural Economics themes. For more information, please visit the relevant event here.
For information on our 2016 Roundtable, please visit the relevant event here.