Corruption and weakness of will

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Researcher, Centre for applied epistemological research École Polytechnique , Associate research professor, ESSCA

Seminar Business life | Friday April 2, 2004

In the framework of his thesis the central part of which was the interrelationship of cognitive science, philosophy and social psychology, Alain Anquetil analysed a series of accounts of people who had been implicated in instances of corruption in the workplace. Having demonstrated weakness of will (Aristotle’s akrasia), in other words, having intentionally carried out an action contrary to their better judgment, these individuals went through a rumination phase which resulted in them taking radically opposing action, often resulting in resignation. This paradoxical process may be interpreted as a « flaw in rationality », or as the result of a dilemma between contradictory values. It can also often be explained by the considerable isolation felt by those who are faced with difficult decisions.

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This session was published in issue n°51 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled Gérer en eaux troubles.

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