Collective Responsibility: Organizations as Organic Entities

Open Journal of Philosophy 6 (4):392-405 (2016)
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Abstract

The question of who exactly is responsible for an organization’s actions cannot be too carefully considered, as a clear understanding of this point is crucial from ethical, moral, managerial, and public perspectives. This article discusses how to justify a non-participant member’s responsibility for the actions of other group members, establishing collective responsibility. The article develops a novel context-depended framework that solves this problem by supplying good grounds for perceiving organizations as organic entities, which is adequate for establishing collective responsibility. I suggest that to be responsible for the actions of an organization, one has to belong to that organization, even if one has not taken any part at any level in group actions. The more regular concept of causal responsibility is not applicable here since it cannot account for the responsibility of non-participant members.

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Robert Albin
Sapir College

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