Making sense of CEO public apologies for the banking crisis: Attributions of blame and avoidance of responsibility

Hargie, Owen and Stapleton, Karyn and Tourish, Dennis (2010) Making sense of CEO public apologies for the banking crisis: Attributions of blame and avoidance of responsibility. Organization, 17 (6). pp. 721-742. ISSN 1350-5084. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1350508410367840

Abstract

This article analyses the public testimony of four banking CEOs to the Banking Crisis Inquiry of the Treasury Committee of the UK House of Commons in 2009. Utilizing a discursive and interpretive approach, we explore how they attributed responsibility and blame for the crisis through the medium of public apologies. A number of taxonomies of apology are employed to provide an interpretive framework for the analysis. We conclude that the CEO discourse is characterized by expressions of regret, attempts to articulate alignment with others affected by the crisis and dissociation from the events being scrutinized, in order to avoid direct culpability for the crisis and invoke instead the spectre of impersonal global events which mitigates personal responsibility. We therefore characterize the discourse studied as an example of apology avoidance, and consider the constraints on apology which senior CEOs evidently feel they face.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: accountability, banking crisis, CEO discourse, excuses, public apologies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School > Industrial Relations/HRM
Depositing User: Paul Verrion
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2010 22:32
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2014 09:27
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/26024 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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