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Corporate Transgression through Moral Disengagement

Albert Bandura, Gian-Vittorio Caprara, and Laszlo Zsolnai published a paper on “Corporate Transgression through Moral Disengagement” in Journal of Human Values Volume 6, Issue 1 (2000)

Corporate transgression is a well-known phenomenon in today’s business world. Some corporations are involved in violations of law and moral rules that produce organizational practices and products that take a toll on the public. Social cognitive theory of moral agency provides a conceptual framework for analyzing how otherwise pro-social managers adopt socially injurious corporate practices. This is achieved through selective disengagement of moral self-sanctions from transgressive conduct. This article documents moral disengagement practices in four famous cases of corporate transgressions and discusses some implications for business ethics on how to counteract organizational use of moral disengagement strategies