The Corporation

I recently watched bits of this documentary. The documentary uses various real life examples to show how corporations seem to act just like people (not in a good way). The synopsis is quoted below from IMDB.

Since the late 18th century American legal decision that the business corporation organizational model is legally a person, it has become a dominant economic, political and social force around the globe. This film takes an in-depth psychological examination of the organization model through various case studies. What the study illustrates is that in the its behaviour, this type of “person” typically acts like a dangerously destructive psychopath without conscience. Furthermore, we see the profound threat this psychopath has for our world and our future, but also how the people with courage, intelligence and determination can do to stop it

The Documentary can be found in 23 chapters on youtube.

3 Responses

  1. Thanks for posting this. Have you seen it? What made you inclined to post it for us?

  2. I recently watched some of it for a class and thought it applied to organizations and how they are structured. It relates organizations as having psychopathic qualities in the ways they seek profits and feed off of other people and resources. In our class we have discussed how individuals may shape an organization, the reasons why they shape it a certain way, and several general systems they may chose to utilize. The documentary is structured around the idea that people shape corporations to act like a person. When a decision must be made, something built into an entity makes the corporation act how a person would. So it seems to pose the question, who runs who? So we really have control over corporations or are they leading us down a certain path?

  3. Great questions. I have heard of this documentary, but have not seen it.

    Beyond people shaping the org, and the org shaping people, there is a third trajectory: the inertia of the organization.

    The way I keep finding these issues entangled in causal loops- people and organizations- leads me to think you need to have a pretty deep sense of a given organization to understand what is going on.

    I wonder what a critic of the documentary would say? I guess that they are absolutely essential risk pooling technology that makes it possible to scale mountains, cross oceans, build computers, and so on.

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