Although I do not have a classroom this fall, with the graduate-level course “Risk Management and Policy Decision-Making” that I have been teaching in business and law schools in Chicago and Paris, I have just made a modest offering.
The short piece below appears in the October 2014 issue of the Revue Internationale de la Compliance et de L’Éthique Des Affairs (International Review of Compliance and Business Ethics).
The Revue is a bi-lingual journal led by Roxana Family, the formidable dean of the law school at the University of Cergy-Pontoise, where I have taught the last three years – published as a supplement to La Semaine Juridique – Enterprises et Affaires. (For subscription access, see LexisNexis out of Paris.)
My central theme is that the modes of rapid instinctive decision-making inherited from our ancestors – "fight or flight" and "friend or foe," which were good enough for the survival of the tribe, most of the time -- are gravely unsuitable for the complexities of modern life.
In context of the Revue, that theme illuminates the limitations on training and incentives for ethical behavior and good governance.
It also extends to such areas, within the core topics of this blog, as the ways in which the pressures and incentives that constrain the basic audit model operate to suppress the exercise of professional skepticism, and the crying need to re-engineer assurance processes to overcome the “good enough” approaches that are inherently both inefficient and ineffective to detect or prevent serious financial irregularity or manipulation.
Congruence between academic theory and potential practical applicability being a sometimes elusive proposition, I aim – with my students’ help – to continue giving attention to these themes.
Readers are invited to chime in.
A link is here, as formatting and reproducing the image is proving a bit complex -- Download Actualite -- or print a version, which should work, or drop me a line and I will send a copy.
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