Doing the ‘right’ thing – with the help of simple but clever questions. Is that possible?

In the modern working world, employees can be confronted with demanding conflict situations relevant to compliance and integrity. Such challenging situations arise when competing interests collide. In such moments, there is a risk of making wrong decisions and drifting into unethical or illegal behavior.

To counteract this problem, many companies offer their employees reflection or test questions as decision-making aids. But the question arises: Do these measures really bring the desired benefit?

An ongoing, cross-national research project, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF), in cooperation between Zeppelin University and the University of Zurich, aims to empirically investigate the effectiveness of such questions. The focus is on supporting companies in selecting suitable questions and formulations.

As part of the second webcast of the Scientific Advisory Board and the German Institute for Compliance, the first research results were presented in December 2023. In her lecture, Prof. Dr. Carmen Tanner, Vice Director of  LEIZ at Zeppelin University and professor at the University of Zurich spoke about whether it is possible to do the “right” thing with the help of simple but clever questions. The presented results led to a lively exchange with Prof. Dr. Tanner. The numerous inquiries highlighted significant interest but also underscored the collective need for more guidance on this topic.

Here is a link to a full report (in German): LINK 

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