• Going Along to get Along: Victimization inc.

      Solas, John (2016)
      It has long been recognized that "when bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle" (Burke 1770, p. 146). In order words, all that is needed for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. Edmond Burke made the peril of inaction and dissociation in the midst of wrongdoing clear. When the need to act against victimisation arises, resistance is essential, and should not befall a brave few, for as Burke contended, there is safety in numbers. Despite Burke's advice, social psychological research (most notably by Latané and Darley 1970; Milgam 1974; Zimbardo, Banks and Jaffe 1973) has demonstrated the unreliability of unsolicited prosocial intervention into even the most glaring atrocities. Simply put, the numbers needed to ensure safety may not be there. While the reasons for inaction are both complex and manifold, they invariably point to a lack of supererogation and fiduciary responsibility. People look on rather than intervene either because they do not consider the fate of others their responsibility or business (Zimbardo 2007). Hence, are those who witness rather than contest victimisation innocent bystanders or accomplices? The answer has particular consequences for employees made victims of unscrupulous corporate supervisors, leaders, managers, and, most notably, their followers. This paper examines the moral question that inaction against victimisation in the corporate realm raises.