Forgetting Corporate Irresponsibility: The Role of Corporate Political Activities and Stakeholder Characteristics

Yapici N., Dheer R. J. S.

Journal of Business Ethics, 2023 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10551-023-05482-1
  • Journal Name: Journal of Business Ethics
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Periodicals Index Online, ABI/INFORM, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Communication & Mass Media Index, Communication Abstracts, EBSCO Education Source, EconLit, Education Abstracts, Gender Studies Database, PAIS International, Philosopher's Index, Psycinfo, Public Affairs Index, DIALNET
  • Keywords: Corporate political activity, Forgetting work, Irresponsible corporate behavior
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Corporate social irresponsibility continues despite institutional pressures for socially responsible behavior, resulting in disasters like the Kalamazoo River Oil Spill and the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. We conduct an in-depth abductive analysis of the Kalamazoo River Oil Spill to explain factors that enable corporate forgetting work projects. Specifically, we illustrate how a corporation’s political activities allow it to gain the power to suppress its mnemonic community’s voices, thereby attenuating an irresponsible event’s memory from the minds of its stakeholders, protecting its image, and maintaining legitimacy in the shareholder and state’s eyes. We also highlight how the remembrance and forgetting of an irresponsible incident diverges between stakeholders based on their characteristics, future goals, and aspirations and whether they directly suffered from the disaster. Our research makes notable contributions to forgetting work literature by highlighting the importance of corporate political activities and context on the success of corporate forgetting work projects.