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Prudence as an ethical foundation for risk management

Alasdair Marshall (Southampton Business School, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)
Udechukwu Ojiako (Department of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates and Centre for Systems Studies, Faculty of Business, Law and Politics, University of Hull, Hull, UK)
Tony Abdoush (Bournemouth University Business School, Bournemouth University, Poole, UK)
Nicholas Vasilakos (Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK)
Maxwell Chipulu (The Business School, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, UK)

Society and Business Review

ISSN: 1746-5680

Article publication date: 6 January 2023

Issue publication date: 10 January 2024




This paper aims to draw on historical conceptions of true and false prudence within the broader context of virtue ethics ideas, to create a prudence framework for developing risk-and-ethics cultures in organisations.


The authors use a theoretical analytical approach as a means of examining plausible representations of risk as ethical practice.


While the ethical ideal of true prudence is explained primarily with reference to psychological theories of generativity, false prudence is explained as undesirable, primarily with reference to psychological problems of narcissism and the broader dark triad. True and false prudence are represented as centring upon very different motivations for foresight, each of which might set the cultural tone for organisational risk management.


This paper’s main contribution is therefore to call attention to the benefits for organisations of reflecting upon differences between true and false prudence when planning the risk management they want.



Marshall, A., Ojiako, U., Abdoush, T., Vasilakos, N. and Chipulu, M. (2024), "Prudence as an ethical foundation for risk management", Society and Business Review, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 113-131.



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