Karl Weick on Organizational Wrongdoing

organizational_wrongdoingDonald Palmer: Normal Organizational Wrongdoing: A Critical Analysis of Theories of Misconduct in and by Organizations. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. 313 pp. $85.00, hardback.

Read the review by Karl E. Weick of the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, published in Administrative Science Quarterly:

Donald Palmer has developed a provocative argument about the inevitability of organizational wrongdoing. Here are two examples: ‘‘I came to the conclusion that even the most ethical, socially resp????????????????????????????onsible, and law-abiding people are at significant risk of becoming entangled in wrongdoing when placed in an organizational context’’ (p. 23), and ‘‘The position of the line separating right from wrong is a political product, a reflection of the balance of power among competing interests rather than a representation of moral imperative. . . . [That line] is eminently disputable and perhaps inherently suspect’’ (p. 264). What we have here is a critical, inclusive, sociological analysis that takes the perspective of embedded wrongdoers.

The normalcy of wrongdoing makes more sense theoretically as we move away from the dominant organizational perspectives of rational choice theory and organizational culture, both of which treat wrongdoing as abnormal, and move toward an alternative perspective that gives more prominence to ethical decision theory, administrative systems, situational social influence, the power structure, accidental wrongdoing, and the social control of organizational wrongdoing.

Click here to continue reading; follow this link to see the new issue of Administrative Science Quarterly and this one to see more new articles and book reviews in OnlineFirst.

Business & Management INK

Business and Management INK puts the spotlight on research published in our more than 100 management and business journals. We feature an inside view of the research that’s being published in top-tier SAGE journals by the authors themselves.

Leave a Reply

avatar

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
Notify of