The Silence of Organizations

Conference of the Heidelberg University and the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities on October 9–10, 2019

Despite increasing legal regulation of organizations in almost all areas of society, the scandals are not abating. Whether it is child abuse in the Catholic Church, diesel scandal, sexualized violence in sport, manipulations of transplant lists or patient killings - the responsible organizations are silent, look away, cover up. In all cases, it concerns acts with enormous moral scope, but only few tried to prevent them actively. Instead, the accusations were swept under the "organizational carpet". Deviant behavior could thus persist and became the norm. Only in the face of overwhelming evidence and public scandals the Catholic Church, sports organizations, car manufacturers and hospitals hesitantly began to confront the corrupt behavior. Apart from the immense damage to the victims, organizations often also harm themselves. The consequences range from the extensive loss of social trust to sanction which can threaten the very existence of the respective organization. In this context, the internationally oriented Academy-Conference aims to identify how such forms of organizational self-regulation emerge and which consequences are connected with them.

Further Information and Programm (PDF)