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"Risk Management, Banality of Evil and Moral Blindness in Organizations and Corporations"

by Rendtorff, Jacob Dahl (2014)


This paper applies Hannah Arendt’s philosophy of the banality of evil and moral blindness to risk management, business ethics and organization ethics. The paper investigates figures of banality of evil in organizations and corporations on the basis of Hannah Arendt’s analysis of the Eichmann as the stereotype of the obedient administrator that is unable to understand the moral risk implications of his actions. Thus the paper contains the following major parts: (1) The concept of moral blindness as proposed in Arendt’s philosophy of responsibility and judgment (2) Interpretations of moral blindness, power and domination following from the concept of systemic action in Arendt’s philosophy: Zygmunt Bauman (Modernity and the Holocaust), Stanley Milgram (obedience under authority), Philip Zimbardo (The Lucifer effect (3) Discussion of how the concept of moral blindness apply to analyze administrative evil in organizations and corporations in relation to a kind of risk management that is blind to the moral consequences of management decisions (4) Conclusion and perspectives.


Arendt, Evil, Management, Organisational Theory, Risk Management, Business Ethics


On Arendt

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