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The ethical focal point of moral symmetry : a heuristic to analyse risk culture and misconduct in banking ; demonstrated on three recent misconduct cases

  • Many recent scandals in banking highlight the importance and challenges of risk governance due to non-financial risk issues such as misconduct and failed risk cultures of financial corporations. The study of risk culture and misconduct in banking requires addressing questions on corporate governance beyond compliance; next to the empirical level, it is important to focus fundamentally on normative aspects, such as ethical norms and values. The heuristic of the ethical focal point of moral symmetry is developed and used to unravel these complex culture and conduct issues on both the normative and empirical level to differentiate good conduct from misconduct in the banking industry, and to guide leaders and risk-takers in decision-making. Based on three case studies on recent banking scandals, the following main drivers of risk culture and misconduct issues in banking were derived: (i) bad leadership, (ii) decoupling of actions and values, and (iii) ignorance of risk policies due to the complexity and ambiguity of the banking business. Banks are requested to internalize a heuristic such as the ethical focal point of moral symmetry to overcome the issues of misconduct and its spill-over effects on risk-taking and risk culture in the banking industry.

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Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Author:Benedikt Kirner
Referee:Andreas Suchanek, Henning ZülchORCiD
Chairs and Professorships:Chair of Economic and Business Ethics
Full text/ URN:urn:nbn:de:bsz:14-qucosa2-743913
Place of publication:Leipzig
Year of Completion:2020
Page Number:VII, 250, VIII-XXXV
Date of final exam:2020/12/30
Tag:Banking; Business ethics; Conduct risk; Risk culture; Risk management
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt