Journal of Business Ethics

, 90:15

Reflections on Metaphor and Identity in the Cyber-Corporation


DOI: 10.1007/s10551-008-0023-7

Cite this article as:
Rowland, W. J Bus Ethics (2009) 90: 15. doi:10.1007/s10551-008-0023-7


This essay attempts to establish an alternative and more accurate way of thinking about the modern business corporation, its role in society, and its frequently sociopathic behavior. It proposes that corporations as they currently exist are a product of rationalist, positivist thought of the nineteenth century, and have in recent decades emerged from their increasingly complex conditions of existence into autonomous, self-regulating entities that can best be described as cyber-corporations or cybercorps. The cybercorp, as an emergent being, is capable of acting on the (human) subsystems from which it has emerged, determining their behavior. Human individuality, and in particular individual ethical sensibility, is sacrificed to the organizational culture of the cybercorp in a way that is analogous to the life-experience of ants in a colony. The pertinent organizational culture and its values are hegemonic and can be effectively challenged only if their source in the cybercorp is clearly recognized.


collective beings corporations and emergence corporations and identity corporations and rationalism cybercorp cyber-corporation enterprise culture organizational culture 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Atkinson CollegeYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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