The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Corporate psychopathy: can ‘search and destroy’ and ‘hearts and minds’ metaphors from military strategy guide practical HRM solutions?

Marshall, A., Ashleigh, M.J., Baden, D., Udechukwo, O. and Guidi, M. (2015) Corporate psychopathy: can ‘search and destroy’ and ‘hearts and minds’ metaphors from military strategy guide practical HRM solutions? Journal of Business Ethics, 128, (3), pp. 495-504. (doi:10.1007/s10551-014-2117-8).

Record type: Article


Corporate psychopathy (CP) thrives as perhaps the most significant threat to ethical corporate behaviour around the world. We argue that Human Resources Management (HRM) professionals should formulate strategic solutions metaphorically by balancing what strategic military planners famously call ‘Search and Destroy’ (SD) and ‘Hearts and Minds’ (HM) counter-terrorist strategy. We argue that these military metaphors offer creative inspiration to help academics and practitioners theorise CP in richer, more reflective, and more balanced and complementary ways. An appreciation of both metaphors is likely to favour the use of hybrid strategies comprising SD and HM elements, which may provide the best HRM solutions to CP for the same reasons as the military now considers parallel hybrid solutions optimal for combating terrorist and guerrilla insurgency.

Microsoft Word papers 201011_prudence and corp psychopath_hearts and minds JBE submitfeb2014.doc - Accepted Manuscript
Download (112kB)

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 16 February 2014
e-pub ahead of print date: 5 March 2015
Published date: May 2015
Keywords: hrm strategy, corporate psychopathy, metaphor, machiavellianism, narcissism, the dark triad
Organisations: Centre for Relational Leadership & Change


Local EPrints ID: 377476
ISSN: 0167-4544
PURE UUID: 11b1cbfa-9ad5-4a17-8ae7-aaf023d24c1e

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 15 Jun 2015 10:58
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 21:00

Export record



Author: A. Marshall
Author: M.J. Ashleigh
Author: D. Baden
Author: O. Udechukwo
Author: M. Guidi

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.