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Psych 232 Corporate Evil

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Chris Burris

Corporate Evil (Evil at the Organizational setting)  An extended Case study (from Darley, 1996)  What Organizations do harms? o “Social Control” (e.g. military, government, peace makers or the authority) versus “Civilian” (e.g.: corporations, community organizations, not part of the official governmental framework) o Between social and civilian are educational and religious organizations o All have the capacity for evil behaviors or harm regardless of the type of organizations  How do Organizations do harm? 1. Deliberate harm  Screwing over the employee. “I really don’t care about employee working conditions”; To what degree are they interested in employee safety? Or are they more interested in maximizing profit?  Screwing over the manufacturers. (Unfair to manufacturers) 2. Neglectful  “That information didn’t cross my desk”  Innocent effect 3. Unanticipated  no one could have necessary known the bad doings of the organizations (either intentional or unintentional)  deceitful through products  DDT example  The use of cellphone example – unknown long term effects that will not be evident after 10 or 15 years in which we do not know How do Individuals Get Sucked in? 0) Self-selection/recruitment – Enron; e.g. the recruitment of psychopath  Diffusion of information- many cases could result to neglectful harm; who receives the information?  Diffusion and fragmentation of responsibility – how you perceive your own role in relation on how you perceive others’ roles in the organization; not clear who should be doing what or who is supposed to be blamed o Passive diffusion - you assumed that somebody else in the organization is taking care of the problem; you assume that it is being taken cared elsewhere (e.g.: bystander effect) o Active diffusion of responsibility  Scapegoating – you set things up so your subordinates will take the fall or wrong doing (e.g. plausible deniability; sounds like PECS evil personality)  Redefinition –
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