Madeline Ong, Research Manager at The HEAD Foundation, has received the prestigious Best Symposium Award from the Academy of Management, the world’s largest professional association for scholars of management. The symposium was presented at the Academy’s annual conference 11 August 2015. It explored morality and wrongdoing in organizational leadership. The awards ceremony was held on the same occasion. The Academy of Management Awards are given to recognize research that is seen by peers as world‐leading.
A short description of the symposium “Offender Morality in the Aftermath of Wrongdoing” by Madeline Ong (Univ. of Michigan), Tyler G. Okimoto (U. of Queensland), Linda K. Trevino (U. of Pennsylvania) can be found below:
Recent calls for research have inspired a surge of theoretical and empirical work aimed at better understanding how to recover from unjust and unethical actions in organizations, with particular burgeoning interest in constructive and socially aware responses. However, the majority of this work has focused on the concerns of those who have suffered injustice/unfairness or the organizational leaders responsible for resolving the conflict and repairing functional organizational relationships. Little work has examined the perspective of the moral agent who is actually responsible for the violation (i.e., the offender) or the implications of that offender’s motives for
restorative action. This symposium brings together the latest research on offenders, their experiences in the aftermath of a wrongdoing, and their constructive motivations toward moral reform and organizational reintegration. By focusing on the underlying motivations of workplace offenders, the research presented in this symposium offers evidence of both the antecedents and consequences of an offender’s attempts to restore morality and justice in the aftermath of their wrongdoing, active engagement in restorative processes such as apologizing, seeking reintegration with their community, and giving advice to others who may benefit from their wisdom as ex-offenders. Together these studies open up a conversation in organizational leadership about the downstream consequences of unethical behavior, and how offenders in particular can adaptively and constructively respond to facilitate their own reform, reintegration, and repair of the broader ethical community. This work has important implications not only for leaders who have made mistakes, but for leaders who need to deal with employees who have made mistakes.