Commentary: Collective Responsibility and the Virtue of Accuracy

  • Bert van de Ven
Part of the Issues in Business Ethics book series (IBET, volume 28)


This paper analyses the causes that led to the fatal accident with the ICE High speed train in Germany in 1998. The most remarkable fact of this case is that no one decision or action can be singled out as the main cause of the accident. We are confronted with the so-called problem of the many hands. For this reason special attention is paid to the organisational culture of the German Railway. It is argued that due to a lack of a sense of responsibility and the accompanying virtue of accuracy the German Railway collectively failed.


Safety Issue Virtue Ethic Safety Risk Collective Responsibility Wishful Thinking 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyTilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands

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