Social Irresponsibility in Management

A review of previous evidence suggested that a substantial proportion of managers may be expected to bring serious harm to others in situations where they feel it is proper behavior for their role. Further evidence was provided by the Panalba role-playing study, where 79% of the groups selected a highly irresponsible decision and none chose the decision that was free of irresponsibility. These results were due to the pressure of the role rather than to differences among individuals; differences in irresponsibility were not related to nationality or to age.

The stakeholder role led to a reduction in irresponsibility. Instructions that a board member should represent all interest groups, along with the evidence on how these groups were affected, led to a reduction in irresponsibility as only 23% chose the highly irresponsible decision. Reductions also occurred when the interest groups were represented on the board of directors; 22% of these groups selected the highly irresponsible decision.

Editor’s Note: very interesting paper!

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