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School of Business researcher to deliver 2019 Sutton Lecture

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Business Walter S. Sutton Lecture Series this year will feature Jessica Li, associate professor of marketing at the business school.

The lecture will take place at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 13 in the Dicus Family Auditorium, 1111 Capitol Federal Hall. It is free and open to the public, but registration is required. A short reception will follow the event.

Li will discuss the hidden costs of organizational dishonesty, a topic on which she recently co-wrote a study. “How Bad Apples Promote Bad Barrels: Unethical Leader Behavior and the Selective Attrition Effect” is forthcoming in the Journal of Business Ethics.

“The amount of unethical activity by commercial organizations remains high and is growing, despite regulatory fines and significant losses from reputational consequences,” Li said. “This is likely because people who engage in ethical violations do not expect to be caught.”

Her lecture will detail why business leaders should consider internal consequences of dishonesty rather than the fear of public discovery.

Li holds the business school’s Jack and Shirley Howard Mid-career Professorship. She is an interdisciplinary researcher whose work focuses on the social and motivational forces that shape consumer perception and decision-making. Before coming to KU, she received her bachelor's degree from Cornell University and master's and doctoral degrees from Arizona State University. Li has presented her work at leading academic conferences, and her research has been published in top business journals and communicated through a variety of media outlets such as NPR, ABC News and Yahoo News.

The Sutton Ethics Lecture Series is held in memory of Walter Sutton, a 1939 School of Business alumnus. Before his death in 1985, he devoted much of his time to civic organizations. This lecture series highlights the importance of ethics and value systems in business and is presented in partnership with the school’s Center for Business Ethics.

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