Gary Rubin

Research title: Qualitatively exploring institutional logics within a financial advisory firm: implications for advisor ethics

Research Summary

The Influence of Competing Intra-Institituional Logics on Investment Adviser Ethcis

Title of the PhD project: 

The influence of competing intra-institutional logics on investment adviser ethics.


In the United States, Registered Investment Advisers have a legal and, arguably, moral duty to provide advice in the best interest of their clients.  However, this fiduciary duty is sometimes compromised because of competing, heterogeneous intra-institutional logics.


  1. To identify a range of common and significant factors that reinforce advisers’ incentives to provide sub-optimal advice, and which likely occur as part of competing, heterogeneous intra-institutional logics. 
  2. The objective then, is to identify typologies or categories or concepts that establish the existence of a viewpoint that contradicts or undermines established preconceptions about a category of people or calls in to question current treatment or professional practice in relation to that category.
  3. These viewpoints are then used to develop hypotheses to spark further research to determine ways to:
  • reinforce ethical influences


  • mitigate unethical influences


 Research Question:

  • P1 Given the current understanding of the environment, it is assumed that factors exist related to institutional logics that effect the ethical grounding of advice provided by advisers.
  • RQ1 What important observed factors are reflected in the data?
  • RQ2 What important, but as yet unobserved factors emerge from the data?
  • RQ3 If positive factors exist, how can these strengths be reinforced? (for future research)
  • RQ4 If negative factors exist, are there ways to mitigate or eliminate these factors? (for future research)


Rubin, G. D. (2014). Does the Fact the Financial Services Sector is Heavily Regulated Leave any Place for Ethics? Institute for Business Ethics.
(This essay won first place in the national contest sponsored by the Institute for Business Ethics.)

Rubin, G. D. (2015). Advisers and the Fiduciary Duty Debate. Business and Society Review, 120(4), 519548. doi: 10.1111/basr.12073



Association for Practical and Professional Ethics:
Annual International Conference, 2016, Washington, D.C.
Annual International Conference, 2017, Dallas, Texas
Annual International Conference, 2018, Chicago, Illinois