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Moral Responsibility, Shared Values, and Corporate Culture

  • James Dempsey (a1)

Abstract:

Although it is unremarkable to hear a corporate culture described as ethical or unethical, it remains quite unclear what such a claim means or how it may be justified. I begin by addressing these two questions by offering an account of corporate culture as the intrinsic values that are shared by organisation members and that underpin organisational goals. I then employ this analysis to offer a new account of how moral responsibility is generated and distributed in business organisations. Since certain corporate values, or culture, will predictably promote wrongdoing by members, all those who participated in that culture will acquire a degree of moral responsibility for the wrongdoing that results. They are, we may say, complicit in the wrongdoing because they helped facilitate it. This is because, by sharing values in the way that creates corporate culture, organisation members give each other reasons for acting in line with those values.

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Moral Responsibility, Shared Values, and Corporate Culture

  • James Dempsey (a1)

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