Confronting indifference toward truth: Dealing with workplace bullshit

Ian P. McCarthy, David Hannah, Leyland Pitt, Jane M. McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Many organizations are drowning in a flood of corporate bullshit, and this is particularly true of organizations in trouble, whose managers tend to make up stuff on the fly and with little regard for future consequences. Bullshitting and lying are not synonymous. While the liar knows the truth and wittingly bends it to suit their purpose, the bullshitter simply does not care about the truth. Managers can actually do something about organizational bullshit, and this Executive Digest provides a sequential framework that enables them to do so. They can comprehend it, they can recognize it for what it is, they can act against it, and they can take steps to prevent it from happening in the future. While it is unlikely that any organization will ever be able to rid itself of bullshit entirely, this article argues that by taking these steps, astute managers can work toward stemming its flood.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalBusiness Horizons
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)253-263
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • bullshit
  • workplace bullshit
  • lying
  • jargon
  • fake news
  • organizational communication
  • corporate culture


Dive into the research topics of 'Confronting indifference toward truth: Dealing with workplace bullshit'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this