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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2023

Business Ethics and Critical Consultant Jokes

New Research Methods to Study Ethical Transgressions


  • Deals with the practical question of how jokes and cartoons can be used in research methods

  • Is unique in covering new methodologies for doing research in business ethics

  • Provides an overview of the most common ethical transgressions in management consulting

  • This book is open access

Part of the book series: SpringerBriefs in Ethics (BRIEFSETHIC)

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 37.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xiii
  2. Introduction of Jokes-Based Research Methods

    • Onno Bouwmeester
    Pages 1-19Open Access
  3. Jokes That Illustrate Unethical Business Behaviour

    • Onno Bouwmeester
    Pages 21-46Open Access
  4. Critical Jokes and Moral Reflection in Interviews

    • Onno Bouwmeester
    Pages 47-60Open Access
  5. Jokes-Based Survey Questions on Expert Virtues

    • Onno Bouwmeester
    Pages 61-74Open Access
  6. Content Analysis of Critical Business Jokes

    • Onno Bouwmeester
    Pages 75-87Open Access
  7. Concluding Reflections on Jokes-Based Research Methods

    • Onno Bouwmeester
    Pages 89-101Open Access

About this book

This open access book offers four ways to enrich traditional research methods in business ethics. By looking at critical jokes and cartoons on management consultants, their business practice and their clients’ demands, many ethical transgressions in business get addressed. By illustrating and criticizing such transgression, jokes can serve as an example in a theoretical argument, as a prompt to reflect on in an open interview, as a statement to assess in an enquiry or as basis for qualitative content analysis. By adding jokes to the conversation on ethical transgressions in business much depth and honesty can be added, resulting in better research data. Jokes can help to surpass social desirability bias included in answers given in traditional interview settings or enquiries. This book is of interest to consultants, researchers, educators and students in business ethics and management. The book showcases what kind of practical and ethical wisdom is embedded in business jokes and how this knowledge can be made productive in the context of business ethics.  


  • Business Ethics
  • Professional Ethics
  • Research Methods
  • Management Consulting
  • Critical Jokes
  • Open Access

Authors and Affiliations

  • Department of Management and Organization, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    Onno Bouwmeester

About the author

Onno Bouwmeester is an Associate Professor in management and consulting at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Till 2001 he was a Consultant at KPMG. He is has been Head of the Management Consulting Research Group at the Department Management and Organization, of the School of Business and Economics for ten years. Currently, he is director of the Center for Consulting and Professional Service Firms and he leads a M.Sc. program on Management Consulting. He published a monograph with Elgar (2010) on Economic Advice and Rhetoric and with (Routledge (2017) on The Social Construction of Rationality. He has published in the Journal of Organizational Change Management (2011), International Studies of Management & Organization (2013), Management Decision (2015), Human Relations (2016), and International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2018), German Journal of Human Resource Management (2021) and International Journal of Management Reviews (2022) on consultants’ legitimizer roles, their uncertainty management, expert images, stress experiences, the demanding leadership style, dirty work experiences, and their intermediary role in the relevance gap debate. In the Journal of Business Venturing (2015), International Small Business Journal (2019) and British Journal of Management (2022), he has published on the rhetoric of entrepreneurs. In the Journal of Business Ethics (2021), he has published on moral disengagement. Next to that he writes for professional journals on similar topics.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Business Ethics and Critical Consultant Jokes

  • Book Subtitle: New Research Methods to Study Ethical Transgressions

  • Authors: Onno Bouwmeester

  • Series Title: SpringerBriefs in Ethics

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Religion and Philosophy, Philosophy and Religion (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Author(s) 2023

  • License: CC BY

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-10200-4Published: 01 November 2022

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-10201-1Published: 31 October 2022

  • Series ISSN: 2211-8101

  • Series E-ISSN: 2211-811X

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XIII, 101

  • Number of Illustrations: 4 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Business Ethics, Business Consulting, Research Skills, Popular Culture

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 37.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)