A Note on Moral Disengagement
Posted: 5 Feb 2012 Last revised: 6 Feb 2012
Date Written: October 20, 2011
Moral disengagement is a process that enables people to engage in negative behaviors, from small misdeeds to great atrocities, without believing that they are causing harm or doing wrong. When Conrad Black, the fallen Canadian mogul convicted of multiple counts of fraud and obstruction of justice, claims that he “would never dream of committing a crime in a thousand years,” moral disengagement is what allows him to make that claim and believe it. This note provides an overview of the eight mechanisms of moral disengagement as first described by Albert Bandura, and provides examples of how they operate in our daily lives.
Keywords: moral disengagement, business ethics, unethical behavior
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