Behavioral Ethics

Behavioral Ethics Picture

Why do good people do bad things? How do people make ethical decisions? Behavioral ethics seeks to understand the rationalizations and biases leading to misconduct.

Why do good people do bad things? How do people make ethical decisions? Behavioral ethics seeks to understand the rationalizations and biases leading to misconduct.

Why do well-intentioned people sometimes make bad decisions and fail to follow their own ethical standards? Ethical decisions occur amidst organizational pressures and personal biases. Ethical misconduct can happen to any individual who fails to recognize the ethics of a decision. Pressures to follow orders, make business goals, and ignore bad news can lead to defective ethical reasoning. Employees who can recognize the traps that provoke or trick people into illegal or unethical transgressions are more likely to avoid ethical lapses in the workplace.

The Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative at UCCS offers students and the community opportunities to learn from past scandals as well as practice ethical decision-making on campus, in competitions, and in the workplace.

Ethics Fellows in this Focus Area

Jill Bradley-Geist

Andrea Hutchins

Kimbra Smith

Julie Albertson

Lorraine M. Arangno

Katy Cathcart

Mary Ann Cutter

Barbara Joyce

Colleen Stiles

James Van Scotter

Scott Van Ness

Joseph D. Wehrman

Related Publications

Meghan Sitdd, Ph.D., Program Director of the UCCS College of Business Career Development Center, demonstrates the importance of ethical conduct in internship curriculum through a student's experience.

Read blog here.

Events & Speakers

Enron: What Went Wrong and Lessons Learned - November 2011

Sherron Watkins, a 2002 Time magazine Person of the Year, shared the riveting story of ethical misconduct at Enron that led to its demise and the importance of ethical business leadership. Sherron Watkins learned firsthand what happens when corporate leaders don't ensure a sound system of values and ethics in an organization. After discovering Enron's "off-the-books arrangements," Watkins sounded the alarm that marked the beginning of the end for the corporate giant. She will share the riveting story of what went wrong at Enron and the importance of ethical business leadership. 

Ann Tenbrunsel Guest Speaker - March 2013

Book-signing and Student Workshop by an author of Blind Spots: Why We Fail to Do What's Right and What to Do about It

Daniels Fund Ethics Summit 2015 

Daniels Fund Ethics Summit

UCCS sponsored the attendance of four students to the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative 2015 Ethics Consortium Summit titled "The Future of Ethical Leadership"  in Santa Ana Pueblo in New Mexico which focused on:

  • Culture
  • Quiet Leadership
  • Generational Changes
  • Privacy
  • Today's New Outlets

Student Feedback: While there, I got to meet students from other schools and have already connected with them. One student is planning on coming to Colorado Springs!

Student Feedback: The ability to meet others and hear great speaker like Craig Cash was great. The small group discussions were my favorite part. We wondered if the hotel welcome drink was a test of our ethical behavior.  

Keynote Speakers

  • Congressman Michael Oxley - Of Counsel, BakerHostetler, Chairman, Ethics Research Center
  • Alfonzo Alexander - President, NASBA Center for the Public Trust
  • Craig Cash - Director, Ethics and Business Conduct, Lockheed Martin MST
  • Keith Darcy - President, Darcy Partners Inc. Former Executive Director, Ethics and Compliance Officer Association