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'Firms As Moral Communities: How ServiceMaster Built And Sustained Its Soul In An Age Of Brutal Markets' Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour Research Seminar

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Event information
Date 21 March 2024
Time 13:00-14:00 (Timezone: Europe/London)
Venue Henley Business School, Whiteknights Campus
Event types:

As the global business world continues to grapple with increasing cases of moral failure at the highest levels, this study explores whether and how firms can become self-sustaining moral communities. It argues that the moral community of an organisation is the soul of the firm, but the composition and sustenance of this soul remain elusive. By analysing over seventy years of archival evidence of the practices in ServiceMaster, an exemplar organisation widely celebrated for its strong moral standing over time, this paper presents a conceptual model of the firm as a moral community with its moral foundations, socio-cultural composition and cultural practices as the main elements of the model. It concludes that where firms are not aligned with a particular professional group, it is possible to build the business as a self-sustaining moral community. It also submits that the functioning of the firm as a moral community requires a bi-directional flow of commitments among the key actors of the moral community within the firm.

The seminar will be held on 21 March 2024, 1:00pm, in room G15 of the Henley Business School building, Whiteknights campus. For those unable to attend in person there is also the option to dial in remotely via Microsoft Teams. If you are interested in joining, please contact Alex Baker on

LOB research seminars are co-ordinated by Dr Matteo Borghi and Professor Marcello Mariani.

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For more information please contact Alex Baker.

Telephone: 0118 3788691
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