IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Unpleasant Memories on the Web in Employment Relations: A Ricoeurian Approach


  • André Habisch

    (Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt)

  • Pierre Kletz

    (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)

  • Eva Wack

    (Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt)


Cybervetting has become common practice in personnel decision-making processes of organizations. While it represents a quick and inexpensive way of obtaining additional information on employees and applicants, it gives rise to a variety of legal and ethical concerns. To limit companies’ access to personal information, a right to be forgotten has been introduced by the European jurisprudence. By discussing the notion of forgetting from the perspective of French hermeneutic philosopher Paul Ricoeur, the present article demonstrates that both, companies and employees, would be harmed if access to online information on applicants and current employees would be denied. Consistent with a Humanistic Management approach that promotes human dignity and flourishing in the workplace, this article proposes guidance for the responsible handling of unpleasant online memories in personnel decision-making processes, thereby following Ricoeur’s notion of forgetting as “kept in reserve”. Enabling applicants and employees to take a qualified stand on their past is more beneficial to both sides than a right to be forgotten that is questionable in several respects.

Suggested Citation

  • André Habisch & Pierre Kletz & Eva Wack, 2022. "Unpleasant Memories on the Web in Employment Relations: A Ricoeurian Approach," Humanistic Management Journal, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 347-368, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:humman:v:7:y:2022:i:2:d:10.1007_s41463-022-00138-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s41463-022-00138-0

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. André Habisch & Claudius Bachmann, 2016. "Empowering practical wisdom from religious traditions: a ricoeurian approach," International Journal of Corporate Social Responsibility, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-9, December.
    2. Harry Hummels & Matthew T. Lee & Patrick Nullens & Renato Ruffini & Jennifer Hancock, 2021. "The Future on Love and Business Organizing. An Agenda for Growth and Affirmation of People and the Environment (AGAPE)," Humanistic Management Journal, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 329-353, December.
    3. Laurie J. Barclay & Maria Francisca Saldanha, 2016. "Facilitating Forgiveness in Organizational Contexts: Exploring the Injustice Gap, Emotions, and Expressive Writing Interventions," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 137(4), pages 699-720, September.
    4. Yasuhiro Yamakawa & Melissa Cardon, 2015. "Causal ascriptions and perceived learning from entrepreneurial failure," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(4), pages 797-820, April.
    5. Nahata, Rajarishi, 2019. "Success is good but failure is not so bad either: Serial entrepreneurs and venture capital contracting," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 624-649.
    6. Leigh Clark & Sherry Roberts, 2010. "Employer’s Use of Social Networking Sites: A Socially Irresponsible Practice," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 95(4), pages 507-525, September.
    7. Cam Caldwell & Rolf Dixon, 2010. "Love, Forgiveness, and Trust: Critical Values of the Modern Leader," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 93(1), pages 91-101, April.
    8. Michel Dion, 2017. "Corporate Citizenship, Social Responsibility, and Sustainability Reports as “Would-be” Narratives," Humanistic Management Journal, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 83-102, October.
    9. Byung-Cheol Kim & Jin Yeub Kim, 2017. "The Economics of the Right to Be Forgotten," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(2), pages 335-360.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Joan Fontrodona & Domènec Melé, 2022. "Thinking About the Future of work: Promoting Dignity and Human Flourishing," Humanistic Management Journal, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 181-188, October.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Argandoña, Antonio, 2015. "A Framework For The Analysis Of Spirituality At Work," IESE Research Papers D/1122, IESE Business School.
    2. Norbäck, Pehr-Johan & Persson, Lars & Tåg, Joacim, 2022. "Risky Business: Venture Capital, Pivoting and Scaling," Working Paper Series 1444, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 15 Apr 2024.
    3. Ângela Leite & Ana Costa & Beatriz Ribeiro & Carolina Fonseca & Inês Ribeiro & Joana Mesquita & Sara Ribeiro, 2023. "Being Female and in a Romantic Relationship Enhances the Association between Satisfaction with Love Life and Capacity to Love," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 20(23), pages 1-15, November.
    4. John R. Drake, 2016. "Asking for Facebook Logins: An Egoist Case for Privacy," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 139(3), pages 429-441, December.
    5. David H. Weng & Yasuhiro Yamakawa, 2023. "I believe I can fly: how target venture CEO overconfidence affects acquisition completion," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 61(1), pages 127-151, June.
    6. Massimo G. Colombo & Benedetta Montanaro & Silvio Vismara, 2023. "What drives the valuation of entrepreneurial ventures? A map to navigate the literature and research directions," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 61(1), pages 59-84, June.
    7. Mandl, Christoph & Berger, Elisabeth S.C. & Kuckertz, Andreas, 2016. "Do you plead guilty? Exploring entrepreneurs’ sensemaking-behavior link after business failure," Journal of Business Venturing Insights, Elsevier, vol. 5(C), pages 9-13.
    8. Hosain Md Sajjad & Liu Ping, 2020. "The Role of Social Media on Talent Search and Acquisition: Evidence from Contemporary Literature," Journal of Intercultural Management, Sciendo, vol. 12(1), pages 92-137, March.
    9. Alessia Pisoni & Emanuele Aversa & Alberto Onetti, 2021. "The Role of Failure in the Entrepreneurial Process: A Systematic Literature Review," International Journal of Business and Management, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 16(1), pages 1-53, August.
    10. Eduardo Terán-Yépez & David Jiménez-Castillo & Manuel Sánchez-Pérez, 2022. "The effect of international opportunity recognition processes on problem-solving competence: how does past negative entrepreneurial experience matter?," Oeconomia Copernicana, Institute of Economic Research, vol. 13(2), pages 541-579, June.
    11. Hui Lei & Xiang Fang & T. M. Rajkumar & Clyde Holsapple, 2022. "Recovering Troubled IT Projects: The Roles of Transformational Leadership and Project Complexity," Information Systems Frontiers, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 233-245, February.
    12. Wilcox, Annika & Damarin, Amanda K. & McDonald, Steve, 2022. "Is Cybervetting Valuable?," OSF Preprints f52a7, Center for Open Science.
    13. Murnieks, Charles Y. & Arthurs, Jonathan D. & Cardon, Melissa S. & Farah, Nusrat & Stornelli, Jason & Michael Haynie, J., 2020. "Close your eyes or open your mind: Effects of sleep and mindfulness exercises on entrepreneurs' exhaustion," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 35(2).
    14. Claudius Bachmann & Laura Sasse & Andre Habisch, 2018. "Applying the Practical Wisdom Lenses in Decision-Making: An Integrative Approach to Humanistic Management," Humanistic Management Journal, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 125-150, February.
    15. Michael Pirson, 2017. "Better Stories Needed: How Meaningful Narratives can Transform the World," Humanistic Management Journal, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-6, October.
    16. Jared Allen & Regan Stevenson & Tang Wang, 2021. "Creative and resourceful: How human, social, and psychological resources affect creative workers’ ability to rebound after failure," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 57(2), pages 705-719, August.
    17. Alan Lawton & Iliana Páez, 2015. "Developing a Framework for Ethical Leadership," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 130(3), pages 639-649, September.
    18. Chan, Tysun & Gountas, Sandra & Zhang, Luyuan & Handley, Brian, 2016. "Western firms' successful and unsuccessful business models in China," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(10), pages 4150-4160.
    19. Rebecca Chunghee Kim & Akira Saito & V. Mohan Avvari, 0. "Interpretation and integration of “creating shared value” in Asia: implications for strategy research and practice," Asian Business & Management, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 0, pages 1-28.
    20. Cam Caldwell & Rolf Dixon & Ryan Atkins & Stefan Dowdell, 2011. "Repentance and Continuous Improvement: Ethical Implications for the Modern Leader," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 102(3), pages 473-487, September.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:humman:v:7:y:2022:i:2:d:10.1007_s41463-022-00138-0. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.