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Choosing whom to be: theorizing the scene of moral reflexivity

Faculty Advisor




context, identity, morality, narrative, reflexivity, scene

Abstract (summary)

Descriptive studies of morality in organizations have to date been largely focused on the scene of individual decision making without paying adequate attention to other important scenes. However, an integral part of what people understand as morality is comprised of those moral norms that they appropriate in the scene of moral reflexivity, i.e. through conscious reflection, analysis, and deliberation. In this article, I bring in and integrate a diverse set of insights, primarily from the sociology of morality, to identify what contextual factors condition the moral reflexivity of organizational members, both in terms of triggering their reflexivity and in terms of orienting their thoughts. The result is an integrative framework that delineates three core dimensions representing the conditioning effect of context on individual moral reflections: Symbolic resources, attention prompts, and the existing self-concept. Finally, I discuss the implications of the offered framework for management and organization studies of moral phenomena.

Publication Information

Shadnam, M. 2020. Choosing whom to be: Theorizing the scene of moral reflexivity. Journal of Business Research, 110: 12–23. DOI:


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