This conference continued the discussion of reforming culture in the financial services industry. Building on previous conferences, most recently in 2018, this event provided a multi-disciplinary view on persistent misconduct in the financial industry and highlighted the effects of societal changes and new technologies on culture within firms.
Here are the key themes discussed at the conference:
- Organizational culture is not the sole province of just CEOs or boards of directors. Instead, an optimal approach is both “bottom-up” and “top-down” and must involve influencing the social dynamics within a workplace.
- Human beings often behave based on subjective perceptions, personal motivations, and blindness to objective consequences. One recurring “blind spot” is the failure to consider the ethical dimensions of decisions. These oversights may have more to do with automatic responses than morality—reactions rather than choices. Organizations need to take account of behavioral phenomena when creating systems to generate reliable outcomes.
- New technologies, especially social media, contribute to a workforce with different ethical values and experiences, as well as new ethical challenges. While technology can potentially be useful in ascertaining misconduct, organizations must avoid overreliance on technology as a convenient way to avoid questions of ethics.
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