Behavioral Compliance and Ethics


Most people know of behavioral ethics, an area of social science that illustrates how we are not as ethical as we think we are due to different cognitive biases. The field of behavioral compliance and ethics is lesser known. It attempts to use behavioral ethics insights to create and run more effective compliance programs. In a recent post on the FCPA blog, attorney Jim Kaplan offers some ways in which you can apply behavioral compliance and ethics to your corporate compliance program. 

Kaplan says behavioral compliance and ethics should be viewed on two levels – specific and general. Specific refers to making improvements to various compliance and ethics program requirements, such as risk assessment and training.  

General refers to the overarching finding we are not as ethical as we think. Kaplan points out he feels the greatest challenge to implementing a successful compliance and ethics program is often more about the will than the way.” Neither front-end policies and processes nor back-end punishments deter bad behavior on their own. But creating a culture of doing what’s right that includes such best practices often does.  

In his blog post, Kaplan covers the areas of risk assessment, training and communications, and enforcement. He offers several steps companies might want to consider taking in each to build a more effective compliance and ethics program. To learn more, read Kaplan’s post in the FCPA Blog.