Francesca Gino

When evaluating others’ actions, most people focus more on the outcome of decisions than on intentions, a phenomenon that psychologists call outcome bias. A decision […] is often judged to be lower in quality when it leads to a poor, rather than a good, outcome. The outcome bias is costly to organizations. It causes employees and leaders to be blamed for negative outcomes even when … [ Read more ]

What Is Behavioral Economics?

How does behavioral economics impact our decision making process?

Reflecting on Work Improves Job Performance

New research by Francesca Gino, Gary Pisano, and colleagues shows that taking time to reflect on our work improves job performance in the long run.

The Best Ways to Discuss Ethics

Companies can take a wide variety of approaches to how to discuss ethics but what actually works in guiding employees’ ethical behavior. While working with different organizations over the last six year, Francesca Gino has observed approaches across the entire spectrum. Her research suggests that subtle changes can produce big differences in the ethical conduct of organizational members. Three findings seem particularly relevant, and they … [ Read more ]

The Importance of ‘Don’t’ in Inducing Ethical Employee Behavior

In a new study, HBS professors Francesca Gino and Joshua D. Margolis look at two ways that companies can encourage ethical behavior: the promotion of good deeds or the prevention of bad deeds. It turns out that employees tend to act more ethically when focused on what not to do. That can be problematic in firms where success is commonly framed in terms of advancement … [ Read more ]

Introverts: The Best Leaders for Proactive Employees

Think effective leadership requires gregariousness and charisma? Think again. Introverts actually can be better leaders than extraverts, especially when their employees are naturally proactive, according to Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino.

Dishonest Deed, Clear Conscience: Self-Preservation through Moral Disengagement and Motivated Forgetting

People routinely engage in dishonest acts without feeling guilty about their behavior. When and why does this occur? Across three studies, people justified their dishonest deeds through moral disengagement and exhibited motivated forgetting of information that might otherwise limit their dishonesty. Using hypothetical scenarios (Study 1) and real tasks involving the opportunity to cheat (Studies 2 and 3), we find that dishonest behavior increased moral … [ Read more ]

No Harm, No Foul: The Outcome Bias in Ethical Judgments

Too often, workers are evaluated based on results rather than on the quality of the decision. Given that most consequential business decisions involve some uncertainty, the upshot is that organizations wind up rewarding luck rather than wisdom. From a rational decision-making perspective, people’s decisions should be evaluated based on the information the decision maker had available to him or her at the time, and not … [ Read more ]