Encyclopedia of Corporate Social Responsibility

2013 Edition
| Editors: Samuel O. Idowu, Nicholas Capaldi, Liangrong Zu, Ananda Das Gupta

Corporation as Psychopath

  • Martin BruecknerEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-28036-8_128



Corporate psychopathic behavior describes a form of corporate conduct, which meets the psychiatric criteria for human psychopathy, that is, a failure to conform to social norms and the violation of accepted ethical standards without remorse. The parallel between corporate and human psychopathy exists due to moral projection, whereby corporate actions are seen as analogous to human actions because of the status of “legal person” or “corporate personhood” granted to corporate entities under corporate law.


Recent history saw an intensifying debate about corporate conduct in light of widely publicized corporate scandals involving companies such as Enron, Monsanto, and WorldCom. Issues surrounding immoral, even psychopathic, corporate conduct arise out of the conflict between legal and socially expected standards of corporate conduct and the...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Social SustainabilityMurdoch UniversityMurdoch, PerthAustralia