Check out this blog entry about Dan Ariely’s new book entitled, The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone – Especially Ourselves.
Ariely discusses the mostly unconscious factors that determine which forms of lying/dishonesty are more morally acceptable than others. (For example, “accidentally” buying a book of stamps with your company credit card is probably a less grievous offense than walking into a colleague's office while she is at lunch and taking a $1 bill from her desk).
He also describes the insidious nature of conflicts of interest. This is why pharmaceutical companies have been forced to dial back their marketing to physicians – because those little gifts that pharma reps provide can sway physician decision-making – even if physicians don’t acknowledge that or recognize it.
The Wall Street Journal also had a nice write-up of the book.
Ariely is an outstanding writer. His books are always both informative and engaging.