This is an excerpt of a remarkable article by Alice BrightSky, senior director of Fordham Law’s compliance programs.
…Perpetrators of many white collar crimes were not career criminals who set out to defraud their employers, clients, and shareholders, but rather businessmen and women … who committed criminal acts in response to overwhelming personal pressures.
One felon states … “Most white collar crimes are the cover-ups that come after a bad decision.”
Duke University cognitive science professor Dan Ariely digs deeper into the nature of bad decision-making. Among his conclusions were the discoveries that a culture of dishonesty often leads to individual dishonesty, and that the ability to rationalize dishonesty helps promote dishonest acts.
As another expert in behavioral economics and psychology, Daniel Kahneman, … states that … “the illusions of validity and skill are supported by a powerful professional culture. We know that people can maintain an unshakeable faith in almost any proposition, however absurd, when they are sustained by a community of like-minded believers.”