Max BazermanFeb 9, 2023
How We Enable the Unethical and How to Stop
Princeton University Press 2023
Today I talked to Max Bazerman about his book Complicit: How We Enable the Unethical and How to Stop (Princeton UP, 2022).
Remember Saturday Night Live’s satirical TV spot for Ivanka Trump’s perfume, Complicit? Talk about a timely topic. In what is Bazerman’s third book on ethics, the focus is on the people who surround an “evil” doer and enable or allow harmful behavior to occur. From the implosion of FTX under the funky leadership of Sam Bankman-Fried, to Elizabeth Holes at Theranos or Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers, there is always a large supporting cast of those who trade on privilege, defer to authority, or have their trust exploited. Indeed, in this interview Bazerman touches on seven different profiles in complicity that serve as a counterpoint to JFK’s book, Profiles in Courage. What solutions does Bazerman offer? Besides changing the culture of an institution or company, one particular way forward is to amass co-whistleblowers by creating “informal escrows” so that the victims of perpetrators like Harvey Weinstein don’t have to go it alone in raising what might politely be called “legitimate concerns.”
Max Bazerman is the Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Besides being the author of books like Blind Spots and Decision Leadership and an expert on the art of negotiations, he describes himself as a “gritty city kid from Pittsburgh.”
Dan Hill, PhD, is the author of ten books and leads Sensory Logic, Inc. (https://www.sensorylogic.com). His newest book is Emotionomics 2.0: The Emotional Dynamics Underlying Key Business Goals. To check out his related “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight” blog, visit https://emotionswizard.com.