Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



The design of an effective legal compliance system for an organization requires skill at predicting human behavior. The surveillance portion of compliance involves estimates about who is most likely to misbehave, and when. The communicative aspect—training and guidance—requires thinking about what kinds of messages and incentives are most effective. Forensics and resolution are about, at least in part, learning from the experience and applying the lessons to future activity. It’s entirely plausible to use the economist’s assumption of rational choice—opportunism with guile—in making these predictions. But the realism of that assumption has been under attack for decades now. The label “behavioral compliance” can be attached to the design and management of compliance that draws from a wider range of behavioral predictions about individual and organizational behavior. This chapter surveys some of the contemporary research in behavioral ethics, and its usefulness to the architecture of compliance.

Publication Citation

Donald C. Langevoort, Behavioral Ethics, Behavioral Compliance, in RESEARCH HANDBOOK ON CORPORATE CRIME AND FINANCIAL MISDEALING (Jennifer Arlen, ed., Edward Elgar Press forthcoming)