Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society

Volume 22, 2011

Proceedings of the Twenty-Second Annual Meeting

Michelle Westermann-Behaylo, Harry J. Van Buren III, Shawn L. Berman
Pages 111-122

Towards an Organizational View of Genuine Compassion

Recent scholarship has suggested that compassion can occur at the organizational level. The definition of “organizational compassion” is particularly problematic because organizations have multiple reasons for engaging in actions that then have effects on various stakeholders. A number of questions regarding organizational compassion thus merit theoretical attention: Are all organizations capable of demonstrating caring and compassion? What factors enable or constrain organizational compassion? In a move toward a more complete understanding of compassion at the organizational level, a continuum of organizational compassion is developed, considering both positive and negative organizational deviance. As factors across multiple levels of analysis may influence where firms would fall on this compassion continuum, examples of enablers and constraints to organizational compassion are also considered.