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Heroes to Villains: An Archaeology of Corporate Criminality

Ethics, Governance and Corporate Crime: Challenges and Consequences

ISBN: 978-1-78350-673-6, eISBN: 978-1-78350-674-3

ISSN: 2043-0523

Publication date: 17 July 2014



It is generally considered that the old myths were a way of explaining the origins of the world and of humanity. They also played a vital role in uniting a society. Indeed the idea of the epic story is one which permeates history to such an extent that it can be considered to be omnipresent.


It is argued that this cohesive role remains crucial today and so myths remain relevant to us today. The design of the chapter is to show this relevance in business behaviour. This is explored through a consideration of corporate reporting.


It is demonstrated that these myths continue to be reinvented in modern form. For individuals these myths provide a source of strength and a sense of roots and values; they offer a mirror to reveal the source of our anxieties and the means by which they might be resolved.

Research limitations/implications

In this chapter therefore the modern myths of the hero are explored in the context of managerial behaviour in organisations. In order to explore this there is a need first to consider the psychoanalysis of managerial behaviour before considering the mythic dimension of such reporting.

Practical and social implications

This paper demonstrates that organisational stories have a vitally important role in organisational cohesion and development.


The psychoanalytic approach provides an understanding which is not available through other methodologies.



Crowther, D. (2014), "Heroes to Villains: An Archaeology of Corporate Criminality", Ethics, Governance and Corporate Crime: Challenges and Consequences (Developments in Corporate Governance and Responsibility, Vol. 6), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 213-252.



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