Commentary to part IX

Susan T. Fiske

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Culture, loyalty, and ego each contribute to personnel decisions in academia, maybe even more so than in business, because our criteria rarely count dollars and widgets. Assessing intellectual merit is dificult and subjective, paving the way for bias or valid differences of opinion. Culture entails not only distinct national and regional norms, as described in contributions to this Part, but also local university, college, and discipline norms. Both deciders and candidates would do well to consult wise heads about the applicable expectations: standards, precedent, process, transparency, feedback, accountability, recourse, and even etiquette. Loyalty involves who argues for whom, group agendas, shifting alliances, power structures, and other aspects of local politics. These are harder to discover except by observation, but mentoring advice may help. Ego issues in personnel cases involve both deciders and candidates. People want their voices heard in the process, on both sides. When theprocedures are fair, people are more likely to accept even undesired outcomes as fair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEthical Challenges in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)9781139626491
ISBN (Print)9781107039735
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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