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Moral Emotions and Ethics in Organisations: Introduction to the Special Issue

12 Pages Posted: 25 May 2016 Last revised: 12 Aug 2016

Deanna Geddes

Temple University - Department of Human Resource Management; Temple University - Organizational Behavior

Dirk Lindebaum

University of Liverpool - Management School (ULMS)

Yiannis Gabriel

University of Bath

Date Written: May 20, 2016

Abstract

The aim of our special issue is to deepen our understanding of the role moral emotions play in organisations as part of a wider discourse on organisational ethics and morality. Unethical workplace behaviours can have far-reaching consequences — job losses, risks to life and health, psychological damage to individuals and groups, social injustice and exploitation and even environmental devastation. Consequently, determining how and why ethical transgressions occur with surprising regularity, despite the inhibiting influence of moral emotions, has considerable theoretical and practical significance to management scholars and managers alike. In this introduction, we present some of the core arguments in the field; notably, the effect of organisational life and bureaucracy on emotions, in general, and moral emotions, in particular; the moral standing of leaders, managers and followers; moral challenges raised by obedience and resistance to organisational power and ethical blindspots induced by what may appear as deeply moral emotions. These issues are explored by a collection of geographically diverse articles in various work contexts, which are thematically organised in terms of (i) moral emotions, ethical behaviour and social pressure, (ii) moral emotions and their consequences within/across levels of analysis, (iii) psychoanalytic perspectives on the management of moral emotions, (iv) virtue and moral emotions and (v) moral emotions and action tendencies. We end by suggesting certain avenues for future research in the hope that the endeavour initiated here will inspire improved practice at work.

Keywords: Ethics, Moral emotions, Morality organisation, Organising, Unethical behaviour

Suggested Citation

Geddes, Deanna and Lindebaum, Dirk and Gabriel, Yiannis, Moral Emotions and Ethics in Organisations: Introduction to the Special Issue (May 20, 2016). Journal of Business Ethics, 2016, DOI 10.1007/s10551-016-3201-z; Fox School of Business Research Paper No. 16-025. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2783927

Deanna Geddes (Contact Author)

Temple University - Department of Human Resource Management ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

Temple University - Organizational Behavior

Philadelphia, PA
United States

Dirk Lindebaum

University of Liverpool - Management School (ULMS) ( email )

Chatham Street
Liverpool, L69 7ZH
United Kingdom

Yiannis Gabriel

University of Bath ( email )

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