The recent significant occurrences of dysfunctional, and perhaps unethical, decision making and actions by a number of highly successful corporate executives suggest that there are systematic explanations for the questionable managerial behaviors that go beyond simple attributions of individual character flaws. This paper draws from four management research streams to identify some enabling conditions that constitute plausible mechanisms that may have exacerbated the present situation. Research traditions include the literature pertaining to the primacy of the rights of shareholders in equity capital financed corporate organizations, the literature describing the mechanisms whereby charisma is socially constructed and institutionalized, the literature attributing the gravitation toward positions of power on the part of individuals with predispositions to act in an unethical manner and the literature describing conditions which limit the ability of principals to fully specify the provisions of contracts with agents who are in positions of control of corporate organizations.
Tourigny, L., Dougan, W.L., Washbush, J. and Clements, C. (2003), "Explaining executive integrity: governance, charisma, personality and agency", Management Decision, Vol. 41 No. 10, pp. 1035-1049. https://doi.org/10.1108/00251740310509562
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