making local government more ethical

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Ethics Training

Robert Wechsler
"Most of us dramatically underestimate the degree to which our behavior is affected by incentives and other situational factors." This is one of the most important sentences in Blind Spots: Why We Fail to Do What's Right and What to Do about It, a new book by Max H. Bazerman and Ann E. Tenbrunsel (Princeton University Press).

Ethical Fading
This sentence is central to the...
Robert Wechsler
How important is ethics training? According to Justice Ginsburg's dissent in Connick v. Thompson, a 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on March 29, it is the difference between life and death.

Robert Wechsler
Violence happens. The world is violent. People are naturally violent. This is what people say.

Politicians are all crooks. Government ethics is an oxymoron. Don't be so naïve. This is what people say.

As Michael N. Nagler says in his book The Search for a Nonviolent Future, "when we have negative expectations...
Robert Wechsler
Despite the many differences between corporate and government ethics, sometimes the corporate ethics world has a lot to teach the government ethics world, especially considering that corporate ethics has a zillion times the personnel and budget to work with.

One example of this appears in a Harvard Business Review blog post yesterday by Francesca Gino, a Harvard Business School...
Robert Wechsler
On January 28, the New York State Bar Association issued a report on government ethics reform in New York State, which includes a section on local government ethics reform. The report points out the many inadequacies of...
Robert Wechsler
This third of three posts on ethics reform in Gwinnett County, Georgia looks at the county officials' response to the recommendations in the 2007 report drafted by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia, and in...