Ann Tenbrunsel

David E. Gallo Professor of Business Ethics
Chair of the Department of Management and Organization
Senior Assistant Provost for Internationalization

“My choice to come to Notre Dame has been one of the best decisions that I have made. At the time of that decision, behavioral ethics was not well known and the study of ethics in a business school was relatively rare. Notre Dame was an exception, as its Catholic mission laid the foundation for such inquiry. I soon found myself among faculty and administrators who not only welcomed this approach to ethics but were also doing amazing research in related fields. Over the years, I have conducted research on why individuals may deviate from their values and not realize that they are doing so. It has been rewarding to share this research with communities of scholars both at Notre Dame and externally and also to impart the insights gained to our undergraduate and graduate students. For example, I have examined how cognitive factors lead us to believe we are more ethical than we really are, predict we will engage in ethical behavior more than we really do, and hide the ethics in the decision before us. I have also explored why we don't always see unethical behavior, such as sexual harassment, and even when we see it, why we don't always act on it. At the organizational level, I have explored how control systems that punish bad behavior can actually have counterintended effects, increasing rather than decreasing unethical behavior; I have also examined the relative effectiveness of formal versus informal systems in organizations and find that the latter is significantly more impactful than the former.

Notre Dame has not only allowed me to conduct this research but has enabled me to encourage a community of scholars to do the same. Thanks to the generosity of Notre Dame, I have hosted many domestic and international conferences on the topic of behavior ethics and held dissertation competitions that were designed to motivate others to study this topic. The field has blossomed in the years since I have been here, and I am forever grateful for the role that the University, the Mendoza College of Business, and the Management & Organization Department played in making that growth happen.”


Learn more about Ann Tenbrunsel's work