Philosophy of Management 6 (3):87-96 (2008)

Authors
Hans D. Muller
American University of Beirut
Abstract
This paper takes seriously the idea that one person in a workplace could cause a co-worker to feel ashamed without realising it. This is because the most widely accepted conception of shame does not adequately explain the eliciting conditions of that emotion. I begin by setting out what I take to be the most common account of shame. Next, I note what predictions we would make about which situations will elicit shame in a subject were we to embrace that conception. I then show that these predictions are actually false in three cases out of four. A second analysis of shame is proposed as an alternative that makes better predictions about when shame will be elicited than the first account, and can explain more of the relevant phenomena even when the two accounts of shame make thesame prediction about whether the emotion will be elicited in a given scenario. I close with a practical discussion of how this new conception of shame should inform workplace managers who encounter situations in which one worker feels harassed by a colleague and the accused does not understand why her actions made the other worker feel the way they did
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Business and Professional Ethics  Social Science
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DOI 10.5840/pom20086323
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