The Carol and Lawrence Zicklin Center is Business Ethics at Wharton

The Carol and Lawrence Zicklin Center for Business Ethics is excited to join forces with several Wharton research centers and labs to form the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Initiative. The ESG Initiative will expand the boundaries of business research and education to deliver essential insights for academics, students, and industry professionals.

Research Pillars


Normative Business Ethics

This pillar actively supports Wharton faculty and graduate students, as well as other scholarly partners on research projects that explore ethical issues in business from critical and evaluative perspectives.


Business Ethics & Neuroscience

This program area is composed of three distinct and interrelated streams of business ethics inquiry: i) research on individual differences in the cognitive processes underlying ethical decision-making.


Corporate Governance & Accountability

This third program area of the Zicklin Center explores a host of issues relating to the enforcement of regulations from corporate accountability for political spending to standards of corporate liability and culpability.



This program area focuses on the regulation, self-regulation, and co-regulation of token offerings from a multi-jurisdictional perspective.


Business Development & Innovation

This pillar supports Wharton faculty, graduate students and other scholarly partners undertaking research projects that focus on the new role business can play in development innovation.


Moral Psychology & Business Ethics

This pillar focuses on empirical questions in business ethics, such as: How do individuals and firms make moral decisions that impact the business world? What strategies and reforms can be adopted to increase ethical behavior in organizations? In addition to providing research support to psychologists studying business ethics, the Center also hosts workshops and other speaker events.


Financial Regulation

This program area actively supports Wharton faculty and graduate students, as well as other scholarly partners on research projects that explore underlying issues at the intersection of finance, law, politics, and history.


Business and Human Rights

This pillar will support emerging interdisciplinary research on Business and Human Rights and provide a platform to discuss corporate human rights challenges in different industry sectors.

Announcing the 2020 Ideas For Action Competition

The World Bank Group and the Zicklin Center at Wharton are pleased to announce the 2020 Ideas for Action (I4A) competition, which engages young people (18-35 years old) to develop innovative solutions in support of the implementation of the SDGs ( Note that the Competition Guidelines for 2020 will mirror those for 2019 [].  The deadline for submission is February 29, 2020. Due to the increased interest, in 2019 we received 3,100 applications from 142 countries and territories, and more than 7,000 registered teams, we are moving to a new platform for registration and applications submission, which will be available in the second half of November.

March 27, 2020

Online Technologies and Respect for Human Rights

in Conflict and High-Risk Areas

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

October 18, 2019

Conference on Corporate Political Spending:

Why There Is a Need to Revisit the Model Code of Conduct to Manage Today’s Heightened Risks


Larry Zicklin, Karl Sandstrom, and Bruce Freed