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The Ethical Executive: Becoming Aware of the Root Causes of Unethical Behavior: 45 Psychological Traps that Every One of Us Falls Prey To Paperback – April 7, 2010


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The Ethical Executive: Becoming Aware of the Root Causes of Unethical Behavior: 45 Psychological Traps that Every One of Us Falls Prey To + Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? + Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford Business Books (April 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804771782
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804771788
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #354,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Examining the headline-making moral lapses at Enron, Tyco International, Adelphia, World Com and other less-than-ethical business locales in the light of numerous psychological experiments, clinical psychologist Hoyk and professor Hersey illustrate in 45 breezy but beneficial lessons how we all face and fall victim to "day-to-day ethical traps." Divided into three types, the first batch are "Primary Traps" that can "provoke us or trick us into illegal or unethical transgressions"; trap number one, "obedience to authority," is illustrated by the WorldCom controller who obeyed his CFO's order to hide $800 million in expenses, and Stanley Milgram's famous 1960 experiment in which student volunteers were told to administer seemingly dangerous electrical shocks to others. Next are "Defensive Traps," which allow us to "sidestep our guilt and shame," like "contempt for the victim" (Salomon Brothers traders treating customers like moving targets) and "self serving bias" (Ford and Firestone blaming each other for tire safety issues). Third is "Personality Traps," the ways we increase our vulnerability: "low self esteem," "need for closure," too much or too little empathy. As the authors note, "good intentions are not enough," and this guide provides a useful, easy-to-read antidote for our unwitting corruptibility.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"Examining the headline-making moral lapses at Enron, Tyco International, Adelphia, World Com and other less-than-ethical business locales in the light of numerous psychological experiments, clinical psychologist Hoyk and professor Hersey illustrate in 45 breezy but beneficial lessons how we all face and fall victim to "day-to-day ethical traps. ...As the authors note, "[g]ood intentions are not enough," and this guide provides a useful, easy-to-read antidote for our unwitting corruptibility." —Publishers Weekly


"This book will not teach you how to be ethical, it will educate you to recognize the day-to-day ethical traps that we all face, analyze them and give the practical, usable information you need to respond in a way that supports good intention, fair decisions and abundant wealth. Whether you're a CEO, a lay person, an executive or a manager, knowledge of the traps described in this book will give you chance after chance to make substantial deposits in your self-esteem bank account." —From the Preface by Anthony Parinello, Author, Think & Sell Like A CEO


"The Ethical Executive is a must read for everyone. This book is clearly not just for managers or leaders, but should be read by all so as to avoid the traps that are pointed out in the text. The Ethical Executive can give individuals the experience of coping with ethical dilemmas before they arise. The book is clear and practical, and hence a quick read. It will save readers a lot of grief they could face in the future by knowing how to avoid ethical traps." —Randolph A. Pohlman, Ph.D., Dean, H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University


"If you rate yourself as more ethical than your colleagues, are you more likely than they are to act ethically in a real-world situation? To find the answer to this and many other interesting facts about ethical behavior, read this book. It is a delightful compendium of those impulses that lead perfectly good people to choose seemingly safe paths of no return—and a guide to avoiding the first steps on a potentially disastrous journey." —Leslie S. Greenberg, Professor, Department of Psychology, York University


"If money is your only goal and that end justifies your means, dont buy this book. If personal character, ethical choices and self respect are integral aspects of your understanding of success, buy it. Dr. Hoyk and Dr. Hersey have gathered accessible wisdom to help you untangle the ethical knots of your job. They write to guide, encourage and help you in your choice to be true to the highest you know and aspire to."—Reverend Dr. H. William Gregory, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, University of Southern Maine

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
I recommend it for everyone's bookshelf!!
Linda Busby Parker
The authors make ethics understandable and help the reader to also understand that anyone is susceptible to the traps that bring unethical behavior.
jenny
It shows that in order to stay ethical you must be reflexive and self-aware enough so as to avoid the psychological traps.
fvaldovi_chile

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. Woollard on September 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
What makes a person ethical and how do you stay ethical in a world full of difficult decisions? This book looks at exactly how easy it is to start down the slippery slope of unethical behavior and offers good strategies to avoiding "the traps" we can all fall prey to. It should be required reading for Presidential candidates and Wall Street CEOs.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Charlotte R. Dixon on October 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a timely title, given that many of our current problems were created by unethical behavior. Firmly grounded in science and practicality, and written in an accessible format, you'll find this a landmark primer on behavior in business.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Red Bikini on June 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
We used this in our Ethics class at the grad school level, and for a textbook, it was highly readable. In fact, I can actually say I learned a little bit and looked at myself differently after reading it. I always assumed I was above average ethically and after reading, I'm not so sure. The anecdotes are what make it so interesting. Don't be confused by the title. The actual book is not nearly as verbose or unweildy as the cover.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sena Jeter Naslund on October 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
While this book is aimed at business readers, everyone can benefit from the insights it offers about our moral and ethical choices. Rooted in psychological research, THE ETHICAL EXECUTIVE helps the reader understand how susceptible he or she may be to authority (even when wrong), to conforming to group expectations, to blaming others, to becoming confused by conflicting loyalties, and to over forty other traps to which the naive person can easily fall prey. I felt personally enlightened by this humane and thorough treatment of a subject that is of importance in everyone's daily life.
--Sena Jeter Naslund, author of AHAB'S WIFE, FOUR SPIRITS, and ABUNDANCE, A NOVEL OF MARIE ANTOINETTE
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Linda Busby Parker on January 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
THE ETHICAL EXECUTIVE is an excellent review of all the "right" things we know or were taught at home, in school, at church, or that we simply know deep inside ourselves. What THE ETHICAL EXECUTIVE does is put all those ethical pointers in one place for us to remind ourselves. I've got a copy close beside me on my bookcase. I gave my daughter a copy, (she'll be starting an MBA program soon). I gave a copy to a business executive I know. This is the kind of book I want to keep close to my right elbow. I recommend it for everyone's bookshelf!!

Linda Busby Parker
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Yocom on November 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I found this book relevant and helpful even though I don't sit in the corner office. I particularly like the way the authors discuss each "trap" in a straightforward, easily digestible format. They spend just a couple of pages on each one, yet each of the traps provides so much food for thought. You'll find yourself thinking about the examples for days. This book would make a great gift because it's so readable, timely, and thought-provoking. Definitely a must-read for anyone who works in an organization, whether corporate, academic, or non-profit.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Petula on November 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book with great excitement thinking I would get some new insights into why well intentioned people get involved in or collude in unethical behavior. Alas, this book falls far short of my expectations.

The Ethical Executive does not ground any of its (many) assertions in any real theory. It does not even really define ethics or morality so the reader has to make many of his or her own assumptions. While the chapters are easy to read, the stories quoted are often dated, - ho hum Enron, Worldcom, Adelphia - and no really new insights are provided. The systemic issues of unethical behavior are not really addressed nor are their ideas of how to overcome the many obstacles the Authors describe.
I think the Authors rushed to get this text on the bookshelves in time for Christmas and or to capitalize on the current financial environment. What could have been a really good idea, i.e. the thoughtful analysis of why ethical traps exists, has resulted in a chatty breeze through far more profound issues than the Authors give credit. Forty-five traps are too much in anyone's book!
Maybe version two will be more thoughtful and delve deeper into some important ideas.
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By Wongwiat on July 11, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
great work
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