Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 109, Issue 4, pp 501–519 | Cite as

Corporate Governance and Corruption: Ethical Dilemmas of Asian Business Groups

  • Marie dela RamaEmail author


This study looks at how the corporate governance of family-owned business groups, the most dominant form of private sector organising in Asia, deals with different forms of corruption during the course of common business transactions. As a part of an ethnographic study conducted in 2007 to look at the impact of corporate governance reforms in the Philippines, one of the emergent themes from the study was the presence of significant corruption in the business environment of the country. A total of 40 semi-structured interviews were conducted with board members from business groups and senior public sector officials supplemented by document analysis of media articles and other text and participant observation. Using Rose-Ackerman’s typology of petty and grand corruption, results show the dilemmas faced when trying to operate within the precepts of corporate governance whilst dealing with the practical reality of corruption in public sector institutions. The results of the study provide empirical evidence into corruption’s impact on Asian business groups and contribute to knowledge on the links between strong institutions and the efficacy of corporate governance.


Corporate governance Business groups Corruption Dictatorship Post-Dictatorship Institutions Philippines Rose-Ackerman 



The author would like to thank Professor Thomas Clarke and two reviewers for their helpful comments. The fieldwork for this research was funded by the Australian Government through an Endeavour Research Fellowship, part of the Endeavour Awards program.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Corporate GovernanceUniversity of Technology SydneySydneyAustralia

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