Mendoza and London Business School to Foster Multi-Discipline Dialogue on Inequality, Trust, and Behavioral Ethics

Author: Amanda Skofstad

More than 40 academics and industry experts will gather at the London Global Gateway May 1-3, 2015, to analyze behavioral influences on trust, inequality, and ethics and to share ideas on what precipitates unethical behavior in individuals, organizations, and society—and the consequences that follow in its wake.

Map of conference participant countries

Speakers representing more than 20 universities and coming from nearly a dozen different countries (see map, right) will come together to encourage dialogue on inequality, trust, and ethics from a behavioral perspective, with particular attention given to the interrelations between these three topics.

Co-sponsored by Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business and London Business School, the conference will feature experts in a wide array of disciplines, including psychology, finance, marketing, law, and economics—as well as industry representatives from Deloitte and Oesterreichische Nationalbank.

The presenters will explore such questions as: how trust is signaled in organizations and how that signaling influences brand perception; what nested social dilemmas lead to perceptions of corporate greed; and what areas of research would have the most impact in today’s business settings. They will touch on such hot topics as the statelessness and trust-based exchange of the diamond industry as well as community standards of deception and why income inequality leads to less generosity. A complete listing of presenters and papers is available on the Mendoza events page.

The first day’s theme is trust—what impacts it (unethical behavior) and its results (cooperation)—and the second day will focus on inequality, in particular income inequality. The third day will examine altruism and unethical behavior.   

Notre Dame management professor Ann E. Tenbrunsel, co-organizer of the conference with Notre Dame management professor Edward J. Conlon, said, “I am excited that we will be discussing ethics from such a variety of perspectives: the societal level as well as the individual level; the inside-an-organization dynamics as well as those with external consumers.”  

Tenbrunsel, Rex and Alice A. Martin Professor of Business Ethics, serves as senior assistant provost for internationalization and research director for Mendoza’s Institute for Ethical Business Worldwide. Conlon is the Edward Frederick Sorin Society Chair in Management and the faculty director of the Notre Dame Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership.

Tenbrunsel said that while the Institute has hosted a similar conference for more than 10 years, those gatherings have tended to be smaller, only one day long, with a focus trained on behavioral ethics. “With this year’s conference, we are delighted to see such growth in the size and scope of our conversation,” she said. “Expanding the nomological net of the field can only benefit the research of all involved.”

The Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame is a premier Catholic business school that fosters academic excellence while promoting business as a force for good in society. A leader in values-based education with the message of Ask More of Business™, the College offers innovative coursework that integrates real-life case studies, a faculty renowned for teaching and research, international study opportunities, and interactions with some of the foremost business thought leaders.

Notre Dame International advances international study, exchange, and scholarship by cultivating Notre Dame’s global alliances and partnerships. Its vision is to guide and support Notre Dame in achieving the goal of becoming a preeminent global university that is distinguished by its Catholic character.