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On the forgetting of corporate irresponsibility

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journal contribution
posted on 10.04.2019, 10:46 by Sebastien Mena, Jukka Rintamaki, Peter Fleming, Andre Spicer
Why are some serious cases of corporate irresponsibility collectively forgotten? Drawing on social memory studies, we examine how this collective forgetting process can occur. We propose that a major instance of corporate irresponsibility leads to the emergence of a stakeholder mnemonic community that shares a common recollection of the past incident. This community generates and then draws on mnemonic traces to sustain a collective memory of the past event over time. In addition to the natural entropic tendency to forget, collective memory is also undermined by instrumental “forgetting work,” which we conceptualize in this article. Forgetting work involves manipulating short-term conditions of the event, silencing vocal “rememberers,” and undermining collective mnemonic traces that sustain a version of the past. This process can result in a reconfigured collective memory and collective forgetting of corporate irresponsibility events. Collective forgetting can have positive and negative consequences for the firm, stakeholders, and society.

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School

  • Loughborough University London

Published in

Academy of Management Review

Volume

41

Issue

4

Pages

720 - 738

Citation

MENA, S. ... et al, 2015. On the forgetting of corporate irresponsibility. Academy of Management Review, 41 (4), pp.720-738.

Publisher

© Academy of Management

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2015-09-08

Notes

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Academy of Management Review and the definitive published version is also available at https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.2014.0208.

ISSN

0363-7425

eISSN

1930-3807

Language

en

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