Developing a Process Model of Corporate Hubris
Lord Owen’s Daedalus trust
Principal investigator: Dr Jane Hendy
Co-investigator: Danielle Tucker
Hubris in organisational life is often explained as an individual leader who is left unchecked to drink and get drunk on a too much power. At the heart of this idea is the organisation itself, the part it plays in perhaps ignoring, supporting or legitimising toxic beliefs and actions. This research project sets out to understand this complex relationship, moving beyond the individual by examining the role of the organisation in allowing hubris to gain purchase and spread. Our work aims to unravel the constellation of forces that lead to corporate hubris.
We examine different theories and ideas about hubris, how it emerges, and how it is sustained. We will do this by reviewing current scientific and management knowledge, by examining an existing case study and by conducting interviews with a range of senior leaders. We ask what distinguishes an organisation which enables corporate hubris to develop from one which hinders or prevents this behaviour? What types of governance and management practices play a part in this? Our overall aim is to produce a model that will help leaders, managers and organisations to better understand the warning signs and so avoid corporate hubris developing.