• The banality of bad leadership and followership

      Solas, John (2016)
      The purpose of this paper is to highlight the loss of moral capital incurred by an organization from indifferent or deferential followers of bad leaders. Despite the proliferation of codes of conduct and ethics and compliance programs throughout the business community, the prevalence of malevolence and malfeasance in organizations continues to rise. While a good deal is known about bad leadership, far less is known about bad followership.
    • 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.
    • Pathological Work Victimisation in Public Sector Organisations

      Solas, John (2015-06)
      Workers in public sector organisations might expect any threat to their physical and psychological safety and wellbeing to fall far short of any unreasonable risk. However, the evidence is by no means certain. One of the most persistent and prevalent organisational perils is work victimisation. A propensity towards this type of abuse in government organisations is most disturbing, since they remain a major employer, and hence, have a direct bearing on the occupational fates of a large and growing number of personnel. This paper provides a brief discussion of work victimisation and focuses attention one of its most unrepentant and enigmatic perpetrators, the corporate psychopath. The paper highlights some individual and institutional measures designed to enable employees to mitigate the risk of abuse by these victimisers.
    • Simulating moral actions: An investigation of personal force in virtual moral dilemmas

      Francis, Kathryn B.; Terbeck, S.; Briazu, R.A.; Haines, A.; Gummerum, M.; Ganis, G.; Howard, I.S. (2017-10-24)
      Advances in Virtual Reality (VR) technologies allow the investigation of simulated moral actions in visually immersive environments. Using a robotic manipulandum and an interactive sculpture, we now also incorporate realistic haptic feedback into virtual moral simulations. In two experiments, we found that participants responded with greater utilitarian actions in virtual and haptic environments when compared to traditional questionnaire assessments of moral judgments. In experiment one, when incorporating a robotic manipulandum, we found that the physical power of simulated utilitarian responses (calculated as the product of force and speed) was predicted by individual levels of psychopathy. In experiment two, which integrated an interactive and life-like sculpture of a human into a VR simulation, greater utilitarian actions continued to be observed. Together, these results support a disparity between simulated moral action and moral judgment. Overall this research combines state-of-the-art virtual reality, robotic movement simulations, and realistic human sculptures, to enhance moral paradigms that are often contextually impoverished. As such, this combination provides a better assessment of simulated moral action, and illustrates the embodied nature of morally-relevant actions.