This text is a transcript of a keynote held at the conference: Economy, people and planet – Towards a new economic paradigm. The conference is an annual joint venture between Copenhagen Business School and the Danish network of transition activists Omstilling.Nu. The stated goal of the conference is ‘to qualify the economic thinking and discourse in the light of the current sustainability challenge.’ The transcript has been lightly edited for readability but the verbal style of the text is retained:
Alvesson and Spicer’s 2012 paper ‘A stupidity-based theory of organizations’, published in the Journal of Management Studies, is an audacious attempt to introduce a new concept into academic discourse and public debate – the concept of ‘functional stupidity’. To a large extent, the authors have been successful: not only has the concept been taken up by organizational researchers, it has also gained widespread coverage in the international business press.
Corruption, the abuse of power for private gain, or more generally, the degradation or deformation of the political order, has been with us since the earliest classical city-states. So have complaints about corruption, and so have various politicians who pledged to ‘do something’ about it.*