“Formally, ethical blindness can be defined as the temporary inability of a decision maker to see the ethical dimension of a decision at stake.”
For companies this is a relevant risk, as employees, especially hard working ones, develop a high involvement for a project and with this a tunnel-vision. The area of perception gets reduced on the win or its successful execution, so that the individual is unable to perceive potential red flags on the way.
In sales and projects are mostly success-seekers involved, which based on their character and experience tend to overestimate the success rate and underestimate the given risks. These circumstances foster the effect of the tunnel-vision.
This theoretical ideas had been confirmed by the “Tetris Effect”. The arcade puzzle game was developed in 1984 by the Russian game designer Alexey Pajitnov. Even if it was still the time of the cold war, the game made its way into the west and five years later, Tetris was delivered together with each new Nintendo Game Boy. The game was quite simple, but addictive, so many users played several hours a day. As result, several of them not only started to dream about the game, but perceived their environment as Tetris figures. Players saw them in supermarket boxes, houses etc.
- Earling, A. (1996, March 21–28). The Tetris Effect: Do computer games fry your brain? Philadelphia City Paper
- Henz, Patrick (2016): “Compliance is a Race Car.”
- Palazzo, Guido / Krings, Franciska / Hoffrage, Ulrich (2012): “Ethical Blindness”, published in the Journal of Business Ethics, 109
- Tetris (2017): Play Tetris