Social Irresponsibility in Management

Armstrong, J. Scott (1977) Social Irresponsibility in Management. [Journal (Paginated)]

Full text available as:



Previously published research suggested that the typical manager may be expected to harm others in his role as a manager. Further support for this was drawn from the Panalba role-playing case. None of the 57 control groups in this case were willing to remove a dangerous drug from the market. In fact, 79% of these groups took active steps to prevent its removal. This decision was classified as irresponsible by 97% of the respondents to a questionnaire. Because the role exerts such powerful effects, an attempt was made to modify subject’s perceptions of their role so that managers would feel responsible to all of the firm’s interest groups. Some subjects were told that board members should represent all interest groups; other subjects were placed on boards of directors where the different groups were represented. Subjects in both groups also received information on the impact of the decisions upon stockholders, employees, and customers. The percentage of irresponsible decisions was reduced under these conditions as only 22% of the 116 groups selected the highly irresponsible decision.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:obedience to authority, Panalba, role-playing, social accounting, social responsibility, stakeholder theory
Subjects:Psychology > Behavioral Analysis
ID Code:5201
Deposited By:Armstrong, J. Scott
Deposited On:05 Oct 2006
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:56

References in Article

Select the SEEK icon to attempt to find the referenced article. If it does not appear to be in cogprints you will be forwarded to the paracite service. Poorly formated references will probably not work.

1. Barksdale, Hiram C. and Darden, Bill, “Marketers’ Attitudes Toward the Marketing Concept,” J Marketing 35 (October 1971): 29-36.

2. Baumhart, Raymond, Ethics in Business. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, New York: 1968.

3. Berle, A. A., Jr., “Corporate Powers as Powers in Trust,” Harvard Law Rev., 44 (1931): 1049-1074.

4. Berle, A. A., Jr., “For Whom Corporate Managers are Trustees,” Harvard Law Rev., 45 (1932): 1365-1372.

5. Berscheid, Ellen, et al., “Anticipating Informed Consent,” Am. Psychol. 7 (October, 1973): 913-925.

6. Blumberg, Paul, Industrial Democracy: The Sociology of Participation. Schocken Books, New York, 1968.

7. Blumberg, Philip, “Corporate Social Responsibility and the Social Crisis,” Boston University Law Rev. 50 (Spring. 1970): 157-210.

8. Bowen, Howard R., Social Responsibilities of the Businessman. Harper Brothers, New York, 1953.

9. Bowman, James S., “Managerial Ethics in Business and Government,” Business Horizons 19 (October, 1976): 48-54.

10. Buss, Arnold H., “Instrumentality of Aggression, Feedback, and Frustration as Determinants of Physical Aggression,” J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 3 (1966): 153-162.

11. Carlsmith, J. M., Collins, B. E. and Helmreich, R. L., “Studies in Forced Compliance I: The Effect of Pressure for Compliance on Attitude Change Produced by Face-to-Face Role Playing and Anonymous Essay Writing,” J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 4 (1966): 1-13.

12. Carlsmith, J. M. and Gross, A. E., “Some Effects of Guilt on Compliance,” J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 11 (1969): 232-239.

13. Carroll, Archie B., “Managerial Ethics: A Post-Watergate View,” Business Horizons 18 (April, 1975): 75-80.

14. Crow, Wayman J. and Noel, Robert C., “The Valid Use of Simulation Results,” Western Behavioral Sciences Institute, 1150 Silverado Street, La Jolla, California 92037 (June, 1965).

15. Darroch, R. K. and Steiner, I. D., “Role Playing: An Alternative to Laboratory Research?” J. Pers. 38 (1970): 302-311.

16. Dent, James K., “Organizational Correlates of the Goals of Business Managements,” Personnel Psychol. 7 (Autumn, 1959): 365-393.

17. Dodd, F. Merrick, Jr., “For Whom are Corporate Managers Trustees?” Harvard Law Rev. 45 (1932): 1145-1163.

18. Dodd, E. Merrick, Jr., “Is Effective Enforcement of the Fiduciary Duties of Corporate Managers Practicable?” University Chicago Law Rev. 2 (1935): 194-207.

19. England, George W., “Organizational Goal and Expected Behavior of American Managers,” Acad. Management J. 10 (1967): 107-117.

20. Ewing, David, “Who Wants Corporate Democracy?” Harvard Business Rev. 49 (September-October, 1971): 12.

21. Frank, Jerome D., “Experimental Studies of Personal Pressure and Resistance,” J. Gen. Psychol. 30 (1944): 23-41.

22. Freedman, Jonathan L., “Role Playing: Psychology by Consensus,” J. Pers, Soc. Psychol. 13 (1969): 107-114.

23. Friedman, Milton, Capitalism and Freedom. University of Chicago Press, Chicago; 1962.

24. Goodman, Charles C. and Crawford, C. Merle, “Young Executives: A Source of New Ethics?” Personnel J. 53 (March, 1974): 180-187.

25. Greenberg, Martin S., “Role Playing: An Alternative to Deception?” J. Per. Soc. Psychol. 7 (1967): 152-157.

26. Heilbroner, Robert, et al., In The Name of Profit. Doubleday, New York; 1972.

27. Henn, Harry C., Handbook of the Law of Corporations. West Publishing Co., St. Paul, Minn., 1970.

28. Hofling, Charles K., et al., “An Experimental Study in Nurse-Physician Relationships,” J. Nerv. Ment. Dis. 143 (1966): 171-180.

29. Holmes, David S. and Bennett, David H., “Experiments to Answer Questions Raised by the Use of Deception in Psychological Research,” J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 29 (March, 1974): 358-367.

30. Horowitz, I. A. and Rothschild, B. H., “Conformity as a Function of Deception and Role Playing,” J. Pers. Soc. Psychol., 14 (1970): 224-226.

31. Houston, B. Kent and Holmes, David, “Role Playing versus Deception: The Ability of Subjects to Simulate Self-Report and Physiological Responses,” J. Soc. Psychol. 96 (1975): 91-98.

32. Janis, Irving L. and Mann, Leon, “Effectiveness of Emotional Role Playing in Modifying Smoking Habits and Attitudes,” J. Exp. Res. Pers. 1 (1965): 84-90.

33. Kelman, Herbert C. and Lawrence, Lee H., “Assignment of Responsibility in the Case of Lt. Calley: Preliminary Report on a National Survey,” J. Soc. Issues 28 (1972): 177-212.

34. Kilharn, Wesley, and Mann, Leon, “Level of Destructive Obedience as a Function of Transmitter and Executant Roles in The Milgram Obedience Paradigm,” J Per. Soc. Psychol. 29 (May, 1974): 696-702.

35. Krishnan, Tama, “Business Philosophy and Executive Responsibility,” Acad. Management J. 16 (1973): 658-669.

36. Larsen, Knud S., et al., “Is the Subject’s Personality or the Experimental Situation a Better Predictor of a Subjects Willingness to Administer Shock to a Victim?” J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 22 (1972): 287-295.

37. Laski, Harold J., “The Dangers of Obedience,” Harper’s, 159 (1929): 1-10.

38. Lerner, Melvin J., “Observer’s Evaluation of a Victim: Justice, Guilt and Veridical Perception,” J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 20 (1971): 127-135.

39. Lorig, Arthur N., “Where Do Corporate Responsibilities Really Lie?” Business Horizons 10 (Spring, 1967): 51-54.

40. Mann, Leon, “The Effects of Emotional Role-Playing on Desire to Modify Smoking Habits,” J. Exp. Psychol. 3 (1967): 334-348.

41. Mantell, David M., “The Potential for Violence in Germany,” J. Soc. Issues 27 (1971): 101-112.

42. Milgram, Stanley, Obedience to Authority: An

Experimental View. Harper & Row, New York, 1974.

43. Miller, A. G., “Role Playing: An Alternative to Deception? A Review of the Evidence,” Am. Psychol. 27 (1972): 623-636.

44. Mintz, Morton, By Prescription Only. Beacon Press, Boston, 1967.

45. Mintz, Morton, “F.D.A. and Panalba: A Conflict of Commercial and Therapeutic Goals,” Science 165 (August, 1969): 815-881.

46. Mintz, Morton and Cohen, Jerry S., America, Inc. Dial Press, New York, 1971.

47. Mixon, Don, “Instead of Deception,” J. Theory Soc. Behav. 2 (1973): 145-177.

48. Nader, Ralph, Unsafe at Any Speed. Grossman Publishers, Inc., New York, 1965.

49. Nader, Ralph, Petkas, Peter and Blackwell, Kate, Whistle Blowing: The Report on the Conference on Professional Responsibility. Grossman Publishing, New York, 1972.

50. Nason, Robert and Armstrong, J. Scott, “Role Conflict in Marketing: Society’s Dilemma with Excellence in Marketing,” Wharton Q. (Fall, 1972): 13-16.

51. National Commission on Product Safety, Final Report. U.S. Government Printing Office, 1970.

52. Nichols, Theodore, Ownership, Control and Ideology. George Allen, London, 1969.

53. Orne, Martin T., “On The Social Psychology of the Psychological Experiment: With Particular Reference to Demand Characteristics and Their Implications,” Am. Psychol. 17 (1962): 776-783.

54. Orne, Martin T., Sheehan, P. W. and Evans, F. J., “Occurrence of Posthypnotic Behavior Ouiside

the Experimental Setting,” J. Pers. Psychol. 9 (1968): 189-196.

55. Reich, Charles A., The Greening of America. Random House, New York, 1970.

56. Reich, Charles A., “The Limits of Duty,” New Yorker 47 (1971): 52-57.

57. Ring, Kenneth, Wallston, K. and Corey, M., “Mode of Debriefing as a Factor Affecting Subjective Reaction to a Milgram-Type Obedience Experiment: An Ethical Inquiry,” Representative Res. Soc., Psychol. 1 (January, 1970): 67-88.

58. Rosenthal, Robert, “The Volunteer Subject,” Human Relations 18 (1965): 389-406.

59. Rostow, Eugene V., “To Whom and For What Ends are Corporate Managers Responsible?” Edward S. Mason, ed., The Corporation in Modern Society, Harvard University Press,

Cambridge, 1959.

60. Schultz, George P. and Coleman, John R., Labor Problems: Cases and Readings. McGraw-Hill, New York, 1959.

61. Schwartz, D. E., “Public Interest Proxy Contest: Reflections on Campaign GM,” Michigan Law Rev. 69 (January, 1971): 421-538.

62. Sigall, Harold, Aronson, E. and Van Hoose, T., “The Cooperative Subject: Myth or Reality?,” J. Exp. Soc. Psychol. 6 (1970): 1-10.

63. Simons, Carolyn W. and Piliavin, J. A., “Effect of Deception on Reactions to a Victim,” J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 21 (1972): 56-60.

64. Sjostrom, Henning and Nilsson, Robert, Thalidomide and the Power of the Drug Companies. Penguin Books, Baltimore, 1972.

65. Terry, Roger L., “Role Playing and the Effects of Expectancy Confirmation,” J. Soc. Psychology. 94 (1974): 291-292.

66. Tilker, Harvey A., “Socially Responsible Behavior as a Function of Observer Responsibility and Victim Feedback,” J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 14 (1970): 95-100.

67. Vanek, Jaroslav, The Participatory Economy. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 1971.

68. Wexley, Kenneth N., Singh, J. P. and Yukl, G. A., “Subordinate Personality as a Moderator of the Effects of Participation in Three Types of Appraisal Interviews,” J. Appl. Psychol. 58 (1973): 54-59.

69. Willis, Richard H. and Willis, Y. A., “Role Playing versus Deception: An Experimental Comparison,” J. Pers. Soc, Psychol. 16 (July, 1970): 472-477.

70. Wrightsman, Lawrence S., “The Most Important Social Psychological Research of this Generation? Review of Stanley Milgram’s Obedience to Authority,” Comtemporary Psychol. 19 (December, 1974): 803-805.

71. Yinon, Yoel, Shoham, Varda and Lewis, Tirza, “Risky-shift in a Real vs. Role-played Situation,” J. Soc. Psychol. 93 (1974): 137-138.

72. Zimbardo, Phillip, “Pathology of Imprisonment,” Society (April 9, 1972); 4-8.


Repository Staff Only: item control page