Chair of Economic Psychology and Leadership Ethics


Carmen Tanner conducts research in the fields of Ethical Decision Making and Behavioral Business Ethics. She has worked at universities in Bern, Fribourg, and Zurich, and at Northwestern University in Evanston, USA, among others. From 2004 until 2010 she held a professorship in the Department of Psychology at the University of Zurich. She is the Director of the "Center for Responsibility in Finance" (CRF) established in 2011 within the Department of Banking and Finance at the University of Zurich.

In January 2015, Carmen Tanner took up the Chair of Business Psychology and Leadership Ethics at Zeppelin University’s "Leadership Excellence Institute Zeppelin | LEIZ. Her work focuses upon research, teaching, and continuing education on the area of business management. Carmen Tanner is also Vice Director of LEIZ.

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Tanner, Carmen
Tanner, Carmen Prof Dr

Focal areas

Behavioral business ethics – What makes ethical decision-making harder or easier
Questionable business practices of companies and leaders, as well as misconduct by employees at the workplace, can often have far-reaching repercussions and lead to high financial costs, as well as the loss of trust and reputation. An urgent question for both business and academic research is, therefore, what circumstances influence the occurrence of unethical behavior. Behavioral business ethics is a relatively new and promising line of research where psychologists, economists, and ethicists work together to better understand which personal and situational factors make unethical behavior easier or more difficult. Carmen Tanner’s Chair at the LEIZ is a platform for such questions and related empirical studies.

Corporate culture
The development of unethical business practices is not only a question of individual factors but also depends on the value- and corporate culture of an organization. Under corporate culture we subsume the prevailing structures, norms, values and behaviors of a business. These are reinforced for example by role models, goal settings and even subtle contextual factors (such as pictures, symbols, focus on money). Often, the unwritten rather than the made explicit values and principles of a Code of Ethics are what shape a business culture. Thus, the focus is on the specification and the role of compliance and integrity dimensions and how these factors impact on the development of misconduct within organizations. We are currently developing and testing an instrument that measures relevant indicators of an ethical and responsible business culture. The goal is to frequently conduct a monitoring via the Corporate Ethical Culture Scale, collecting data on business culture periodically and on a large scale for the interested public.

Moral intelligence – Self-navigation system and one’s own values
In research and practice, social and emotional intelligence have received a great deal of attention in recent years as important prerequisites for successful interaction in business and elsewhere. Since the financial and economic crisis, moral intelligence has been seen as a new challenge. At the LEIZ Chair of Business Psychology and Leadership Ethics, we conduct research into motivational as well as perception-, decision-making- and acting-related conditions for moral intelligence. On the other hand, work at the Chair will contribute to measuring and promoting moral competencies through measuring devices and innovative tools.

The enigma of honesty – A question of costs or values?
Questions and discussions on the topic of (dis)honesty in the business and financial context have been popular again for quite some time. The economic and financial crisis, numerous fraud scandals at large companies (Enron, Worldcom, VW), banks (Libor scandal, currency manipulation) or people (Madoff, Adoboli) have contributed to this. But why do people behave honestly or dishonestly? That is a question we have been dealing with for many years in interdisciplinary research projects (Psychology, Economy & Finance, Ethics). The interactions between situational and motivational determinants of honesty are examined on the basis of experimental studies.

Current research projects | Call for Applications

BA Thesis | Master Thesis | Humboldt Project | Research Project

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Publications of the Chair

Team of the Chair

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