Publications & Products
Volume 1, Issue 43

Slow Down to Avoid Bad Decisions at Work

New research says that managers who work too fast and rush into decisions are more likely to make selfish and unethical choices.

Margaret Heffernan, author of Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril, recently wrote an article for AOL Jobs in which she discussed a set of experiments conducted by Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. Researchers at the school asked students to choose between two business decisions—one honest and the other less honest. The students at the college who were given more time to consider the consequences of their actions and think of others made the more ethical choice. Conversely, those students who were under time pressure made more selfish decisions.

"I can't be surprised by these findings," Heffernan says. "Ethical thinking is cognitively expensive: It takes effort, focus and time. It's easily crowded out by multitasking, distractions and fatigue. Many other experiments demonstrate that people often make unethical choices not because they intend to—but because they didn't see that ethics were involved at all."

Heffernan advises that managers take the time to understand the full repercussions of all of their decisions.

This article is from the May 7, 2012 issue.

Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) © 1996 - 2018


Summit for Leaders in Advancement

July 15 - 17, 2012
Washington, D.C., United States

Take a few days to explore thought-provoking ideas with your colleagues and glean the newest ideas from expert speakers. You will come away challenged, invigorated and inspired to be a stronger advancement professional and leader.


Another benefit of your CASE premier membership, Advancement Talk, features conversations on trends, tips and best practices in advancement.
This month's conversation is about major gift strategies in a changing philanthropic landscape.