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The University of Southampton
Centre for Risk Research

Carpe Diem Risk Culture Event

Dr Alasdair Marshall
13:00 - 14:00
26 November 2015
Room 4003 Building 4 Highfield Campus University of Southampton

For more information regarding this event, please email Dr Ian G.J. Dawson at .

Event details

In this Centre for Risk Research seminar, Corporate psychopathy is explored as an important psychological foundation for reckless risk-taking in financial institutions. Most academics view this problem through an ethical deviance frame as arising with small numbers of ethically irredeemable primary psychopaths and their malign influences as leaders. This presentation instead scopes corporate psychopathy as a much broader cultural problem spanning (more conscionable and ethically redeemable) secondary psychopathy, narcissism and Machiavellianism. On this view, corporate psychopathy is a non-pathological dimensional construct – and a valuable descriptor for aspects of firm culture which are always present to some extent, and whose levels may well be rising within financial firms. Noting evidence suggesting that at least one global bank has used psychopathy tests to recruit psychopaths in recent years, as well as recent interest in the phenomenon of the ‘good psychopath’, a case is made for dispensing with deviance framing by exploring both benefits and harms associated with this complex cultural change. A new construct called Carpe Diem Risk Culture is proposed for financial institutions, which scopes prospects for engagement with ethically important risk management practices within this very challenging cultural context.

Speaker information

Dr Alasdair Marshall,Alasdair joined Southampton Business School as Lecturer in Risk Management in September 2008 and both his MA (Hons) degree and PhD are in Social Science, from the University of Glasgow. Between 2003 and 2008, Alasdair worked at Glasgow Caledonian University, where he contributed to Risk Management teaching within Caledonian Business School and was involved in a broad range of research and consultancy projects within the Cullen Centre for Risk and Governance. In his research, Alasdair often uses an interdisciplinary organisation studies perspectives on risk research to bring together issues of strategy, ethics, leadership, culture, politics and decision-making.

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