Establishing the Normative Standards that Determine Deviance in Organizational Corruption: Is Corruption Within Organizations Antisocial or Unethical?
- 635 Downloads
Despite universal agreement that corruption is norm-deviant, the criteria required to ascertain deviance remain elusive. The problem is even more pronounced for organizational corruption, not least because the construct remains somewhat ambiguous and is often conflated with proximate management constructs like antisocial or unethical organizational behavior. In this article, I identify the suitable criteria for the determination of deviance in organizational corruption and determine whether it is, indeed, antisocial or unethical. In order to minimize ambiguity, I first limit the scope of organizational corruption to corruption within, rather than by, organizations, which is most conceptually challenging insofar as the aforementioned questions are concerned. I then conclude that organizational corruption should be specified solely with respect to the focal organization’s normative framework; it is anti-organizational rather than antisocial. Higher level normative prescriptions that arise from the organization’s embedding within its social context remain relevant, but only insofar as they are incorporated within the organization’s normative framework. Moreover, I argue that organizational corruption is not necessarily unethical, since the moral evaluation of an organizational act is, in principle, distinct from the determination of its deviance to organizational norms.
KeywordsOrganizational corruption Deviance Antisocial behavior Unethical behavior Hypernorms
- Alatas, S. H. (1990). Corruption, its nature, causes and functions. Aldershot, UK: Avebury.Google Scholar
- Albanese, J. S. (1988). Organizational offenders: Understanding corporate crime. Niagara Falls, NY: Apocalypse.Google Scholar
- Bartunek, J. (2003). Presidential address: A dream for the academy. Academy of Management Review, 28, 198–203.Google Scholar
- BBC News. (2012). Rolls-Royce in bribery talks with the serious fraud office. Retrieved December 6, 2012 from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20622911.
- Braithwaite, J. (1984). Corporate crime in the pharmaceutical industry. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
- Brass, D. J., Butterfield, K. D., & Skaggs, B. C. (1998). Relationships and unethical behavior: A social network perspective. Academy of Management Review, 23, 14–31.Google Scholar
- Brown, A. J. (2006). What are we trying to measure? Reviewing the basis of corruption definition. In C. Sampford, A. Shacklock, C. Connors, & F. Galtung (Eds.), Measuring corruption (pp. 57–79). Surrey, UK: Ashgate.Google Scholar
- Daboub, A. J., Rasheed, A. M. A., Priem, R. L., & Gray, D. A. (1995). Top management team characteristics spiraling down into corruption and corporate illegal activity. Academy of Management Review, 20, 138–170.Google Scholar
- Donaldson, T., & Dunfee, T. (1994). Toward a unified conception of business ethics: integrative social contracts theory. Academy of Management Review, 19, 252–284.Google Scholar
- Donaldson, T., & Dunfee, T. (1999). The ties that bind. Boston: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Gray, C. W., & Kaufman, D. (1998). Corruption and development. Finance & Development, 35, 7–10.Google Scholar
- Heidenheimer, A. J., & Johnston, M. (2002). Introduction to part I. In A. J. Heidenheimer & M. Johnston (Eds.), Political corruption: Concepts & contexts (3rd ed., pp. 3–14). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.Google Scholar
- Jones, T. M. (1991). Ethical decision making by individuals in organizations: An issue-contingent model. Academy of Management Review, 16, 366–395.Google Scholar
- Patterson, T. (2009). Siemens bribery deal close. The Independent. Retrieved December 3, 2009 from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/siemens-bribery-deal-close-1833088.html.
- Philp, M. (2006). Corruption definition and measurement. In C. Sampford, A. Shacklock, C. Connors, & F. Galtung (Eds.), Measuring corruption (pp. 45–56). Surrey, UK: Ashgate.Google Scholar
- Scott, J. C. (1972). Comparative political corruption. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
- Thomas, K., & Schmidt, M. S. (2012). Glaxo agrees to pay $3 billion in fraud settlement. The New York Times. Retrieved July 2, 2012 from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/03/business/glaxosmithkline-agrees-to-pay-3-billion-in-fraud-settlement.html?pagewanted=all.
- Vardi, Y., & Weitz, E. (2004). Misbehavior in organizations: Theory, research, and management. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Vaughan, D. (1983). Controlling unlawful organizational behavior: social structure and corporate misconduct. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Warren, D. E. (2003). Constructive and destructive deviance in organizations. Academy of Management Review, 28, 622–632.Google Scholar