Pinto fires and personal ethics: A script analysis of missed opportunities

Dennis A. Gioia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


This article details the personal involvement of the author in the early stages of the infamous Pinto fire case. The paper first presents an insider account of the context and decision environment within which he failed to initiate an early recall of defective vehicles. A cognitive script analysis of the personal experience is then offered as an explanation of factors that led to a decision that now is commonly seen as a definitive study in unethical corporate behavior. The main analytical thesis is that script schemas that were guiding cognition and action at the time precluded consideration of issues in ethical terms because the scripts did not include ethical dimensions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCitation Classics from The Journal of Business Ethics
Subtitle of host publicationCelebrating the First Thirty Years of Publication
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9789400741263
ISBN (Print)9789400741256
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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