Neuroeconomics and the Firm
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Neuroeconomics and the Firm

Edited by Angela A. Stanton, Mellani Day and Isabell M. Welpe

The ideal firm has been studied over several centuries, yet little is known about what makes one successful and another fail. This pioneering book brings together leading researchers investigating the concept of the firm from a neuroscientific perspective.
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Chapter 8: Hormonal Influence on Male Decision-making: Implications for Organizational Management

Angela A. Stanton


Angela A. Stanton INTRODUCTION Recently, some firms have come under scrutiny for their overzealous attempts at securing success. In particular, some corporate executives have fallen from grace for their unsavory efforts to both make themselves richer and their firm more successful, at times choosing avenues that are unethical if not criminal. The underlying motives of these executives have received little attention even after some of the firms have collapsed. The most prominently held view holds executive greed responsible for the demise of the firm. In this chapter I visit some of the reasons for the actions that have come to be considered as unethical, such as the decision to spend millions on decorating an office at shareholders’ expense, from a different perspective. I take on the perspective of biological, specifically hormonal, forces. Once some of the underlying biological reasons are understood, perhaps firms can prevent and proactively avoid situations in which the executive could make a decision for the detriment of the firm. Business schools teach future executives how to improve the firm’s positioning in the marketplace. Business ethics courses are typically available within the curricula, but these do not address the biochemical forces an individual may have to fight within himself (or herself) to live up to general ethical values in making specific decisions. None of what is currently taught to future organizational leaders and managers incorporates how human evolutionary forces act on the organization from the perspective of the individuals within a firm and what these forces mean...

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