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Culture, which makes it possible for certain groups of people to share similar values, outlooks, ideas, goals, and traditions, varies from one group to the other. The reason behind such variation is the diversity of the human race, which is also a factor that contributes to the differences that are seen in the diagnoses of psychopathologic disorders in different cultures. Even so, however, the fact of the matter is that all people are human beings, and this means that there are some fundamental beliefs or things that will not change. Bolman and Deal (2008) found that people tend to adopt those strategies that best suit their needs, whether it is on the business front or at home. Where business is concerned, for instance, leaders are interested in maximizing profits, satisfying customer needs, and growing their market share. But while these may be some common goals, organization leaders frequently have different methods of ensuring that their workforce meets both the long and the short-term of these goals, whether it is by using dictatorial or democratic leadership styles (Morgan, 2006).
In developing and testing the Hare Psychopathology Checklist, Dr. Hare was able to connect some corporations’ behavior to those that are psychopathological and exploitative, and with little regard for social responsibility. Such behavior includes the callous lack of concern for the feelings of others, the reckless disregard for the safety of others, repeated deception and the conning of other parties for profit, the incapacity to feel or experience guilt, along with maintaining enduring relationships (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). There is ample evidence of some Scoundrel corporations engaging in behavior that is persistently antisocial and even criminal at times. Corporations that are Sinners, on the other hand, will attempt to carry out their business as honorably as they possible, but still, transgress on occasion. There are those, however, who are Saints. They have built a solid reputation thanks to their ethical nature, and are worth getting praised for their efforts. In looking at these kinds of companies, one draws the conclusion that while we may have some that are antisocial, there are certainly significantly a lot fewer companies that qualify the term psychopathic (Hartley, 2016).
Niose (2011) on his part, however, argues that even though corporations may be recognized as persons in law, they do not have innate moral impulses. In fact, the sole purpose for their existence is the making of money. In pursuit of this goal, then, corporations are systematically driven to achieve their profit-making objective, and this sometimes takes precedence over any ethical reservations that real people might have. Even though real people might own and manage corporations, argues Niose, this eventuality does not translate into the inhibition of immoral corporate action. Indeed, a corporation’s officers and directors are all obligated to act in their company’s best interest so that they can make money. It is no secret that publicly traded corporations are required to answer to their institutional investors, making them, in the process, quite susceptible to enormous pressure to produce short-term profits. With the narcissistic, self-absorbed psyches that large corporations have that, it is unsurprising that they use the abundant resources they have at hand to advertise and market themselves, shape and influence public opinion, and do all that is within their power to pursue their goals where profit and revenue are concerned.
In Hartley (2016)’s view, however, the application of psychopathic characteristics to corrupt corporations must not lead to a sound conclusion. No psychopathy test or clinical criteria of any form has been developed or tested for the purpose of diagnosing corporate behavior. Indeed, there happens to be a chance for reaching false positives or negatives when drawing conclusions. For a corporation to be a psychopath, it has to engage in egregious wrongdoing. But just because some firms engage in the amoral behavior, are dismissive of legal or social norms, and are incapable of feeling remorse and so on, it does not mean that the majority of corporations are psychopaths. Indeed, that would be akin to generalizing the characteristics of a psychopath to all criminal elements.
In a business environment, externalities that could either be positive or negative are generated. When such side-effects of business activity manifest, customers could benefit from increased selection and price competition. But in the case of a negative externality, an increase in shoplifting, for instance, could mean the engagement of the local police, translating to a higher cost, thanks to the payroll, to the city and its taxpayers. While negative externalities are bad for the society, they are usually higher in number than the positive ones. This is due to that fact that positive externalities cost businesses money, while the negative ones are either cost-saving or cost-neutral. In an era where more and more companies are embracing sustainable and corporate social responsibility ideals, however, it becomes a lot easier for them to abandon most of the outright psychopathological mannerisms for those that might best market and endear them to consumers. Naturally, great effort, along with visionary and ethical leaders, are required to be able to achieve and maintain a clean status such as that of the Saint corporations (Hartley, 2016).
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