On Thursday, 27th September, we will have the pleasure to hear the presentation by our dear guest Steven Bosworth (University of Reading).
Steven will present his joint paper with Dennis J. Snower (Kiel) on the topic: “Organizational Ethics, Narratives and Social Dysfunctions”.
All organisations are characterised by some degree of conflict between its members’ private interests and the organisation’s mission. This may manifest in corruption, fraud, or more banally, shirking. In response leaders can try to mould the identities of workers to make them more sensitive to the social costs of their actions.
We explicitly model the social interactions and constraints giving rise to this process, deriving an endogenous profile of wages, monitoring, and organisational culture. In this way we provide a theory of organisational dysfunction, and show how such dysfunctions might be mitigated through changes in government policies or social norms. These changes become particularly effective if they encourage both managers and workers to adopt more ethical narratives – organisational culture change is in this case self-reinforcing. Ineffective narratives on the other hand can cause pushback from employees when managers adopt a more ethically ‘strict’ stance. We derive the conditions under which beneficial or countervailing feedback effects can occur.
Dr Steven Bosworth is a behavioural economist working as a Lecturer at the University of Reading. His research uses microeconomic theory and controlled laboratory experiments to investigate how context, motivation and the social environment influence human cooperation. He has published on the topics of uncertainty and coordinated decisions, the distribution of prosocial dispositions in the society and competition, and the consequences of social fragmentation on wellbeing.
Before joining the University of Reading in 2017, Steven was a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for the World Economy in Kiel, Germany, where he maintains an affiliation.
More information about Steve and his list of publications can be found here.