From Black Pain to Rhodes Must Fall: A Rejectionist Perspective

Journal of Business Ethics 170 (2):287-311 (2021)
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Based on my study of the Rhodes Must Fall movement, I develop a rejectionist perspective by identifying the understanding and mobilization of epistemic disobedience as the core premise of such a perspective. Embedded in this contextual perspective, epistemic disobedience refers to the decolonization of the self and a fight against colonial legacies. I argue that, rather than viewing a rejectionist perspective as a threat, it should be integrated into the moral learning of contemporary institutions and businesses. This approach is important in ensuring colonial legacies and biases do not create further racism or unequal situations for marginalized groups. The implication for critical management studies is that scholars from this camp should be more sensitive to issues of black consciousness and implement an authentic pragmatic ideal to promote black culture and historiographies in universities and curricula. It also highlights a need for the field of business ethics to apply more sensitive theory of marginalized stakeholders in order to prevent any escalation of violence by multinational corporations in the name of shareholder value creation and profit-maximization.



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