Cover of The Ethical Executive by Robert Hoyk and Paul Hersey
The Ethical Executive
Becoming Aware of the Root Causes of Unethical Behavior: 45 Psychological Traps that Every One of Us Falls Prey To
Robert Hoyk and Paul Hersey


152 pages.
from $25.00

Hardcover ISBN: 9780804759656
Paperback ISBN: 9780804771788
Ebook ISBN: 9780804776134

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Excerpts and More

In this book, Hoyk and Hersey describe 45 "unethical traps" into which any one of us can fall. These traps, they say, can erupt in any organizational environment. Some of these traps distort our perception of right and wrong—so we actually believe our unethical behavior is right. Many of them are psychological in nature, and if we are not aware of them they are like illusions—webs of deception. In the authors' analysis, these traps significantly contributed to the large-scale corporate disasters we witnessed in recent years.

Hoyk and Hersey take account of these realities and offer a "real-world" method that will predict, preclude, and, if necessary, "get us out of" these traps. Given the increased scrutiny under which all executives and mangers operate today, this book is a 'must read' for anyone who is charged with achieving an organization's mission—whether that mission is increasing profit, serving the common good, or both.

About the authors

Robert Hoyk is a Clinical Psychologist and has conducted research in several institutions. He has taught communication skills to executives, physicians, and couples.

Paul Hersey is Distinguished Professor of Leadership Studies at Nova Southeastern University. He co-authored, with Ken Blanchard, Management of Organizational Behavior (Prentice Hall).

"Examining the headline-making moral lapses at Enron, Tyco International, Adelphia, World Com and other less-than-ethical business locales in the light of numerous psychological experiments, clinical psychologist Hoyk and professor Hersey illustrate in 45 breezy but beneficial lessons how we all face and fall victim to "day-to-day ethical traps. ...As the authors note, "[g]ood intentions are not enough," and this guide provides a useful, easy-to-read antidote for our unwitting corruptibility."

Publishers Weekly

"This book will not teach you how to be ethical, it will educate you to recognize the day-to-day ethical traps that we all face, analyze them and give the practical, usable information you need to respond in a way that supports good intention, fair decisions and abundant wealth. Whether you're a CEO, a lay person, an executive or a manager, knowledge of the traps described in this book will give you chance after chance to make substantial deposits in your self-esteem bank account."

—From the Preface by Anthony Parinello, Author, Think & Sell Like A CEO

"The Ethical Executive is a must read for everyone. This book is clearly not just for managers or leaders, but should be read by all so as to avoid the traps that are pointed out in the text. The Ethical Executive can give individuals the experience of coping with ethical dilemmas before they arise. The book is clear and practical, and hence a quick read. It will save readers a lot of grief they could face in the future by knowing how to avoid ethical traps."

—Randolph A. Pohlman, Ph.D., Dean, H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University

"If you rate yourself as more ethical than your colleagues, are you more likely than they are to act ethically in a real-world situation? To find the answer to this and many other interesting facts about ethical behavior, read this book. It is a delightful compendium of those impulses that lead perfectly good people to choose seemingly safe paths of no return—and a guide to avoiding the first steps on a potentially disastrous journey."

—Leslie S. Greenberg, Professor, Department of Psychology, York University

"If money is your only goal and that end justifies your means, dont buy this book. If personal character, ethical choices and self respect are integral aspects of your understanding of success, buy it. Dr. Hoyk and Dr. Hersey have gathered accessible wisdom to help you untangle the ethical knots of your job. They write to guide, encourage and help you in your choice to be true to the highest you know and aspire to."

—Reverend Dr. H. William Gregory, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, University of Southern Maine

"This timeless and important book is a must read for leaders at every level in the organization. Whether you are a seasoned CEO or just starting out in business, this book will provide a roadmap for navigating the minefields of psychological self-deception and illusions that can trap good people, even those with strong ethical values, into moving towards disaster. Buy this book. Read it. Apply its concepts, models and theories to your own situation. Give it to your children. It's that important!"

—Stephen LaCivita, Associate Dean of Executive Education, The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business

"Drs Hoyk and Hersey have provided highly practical ways of achieving sustainable profitability through building a solid ethical foundation for your business. You will find their suggestions will create a climate of cooperation and mutual trust that will make every employee in your firm willing to achieve their very best."

—Dewey E. Johnson, Professor Emeritus, Craig School of Business, California State University, Fresno

"I found this book to be refreshing. Rather than the academic posturing of ethical theory or the typical pabulum of business ethics rules, it approaches the potentials of unethical conduct in a concise, practical way. Readers will recognize many of the traps, but the book will both sensitize the reader to the traps and provide approaches that will keep them from getting caught in the traps. I recommend the book to all businesspeople."

—John Stinson, Professor emeritus and former Dean, College of Business, Ohio University