Advertisement

Journal of Business Ethics

, 82:477 | Cite as

Understanding Corruption in Organizations – Development and Empirical Assessment of an Action Model

  • Tanja Rabl
  • Torsten M. Kühlmann
Article

Abstract

Despite a strong sensitization to the corruption problem and a large body of interdisciplinary research, scientists have only rarely investigated which motivational, volitional, emotional, and cognitive components make decision makers in companies act corruptly. Thus, we examined how their interrelation leads to corruption by proposing an action model. We tested the model using a business simulation game with students as participants. Results of the PLS structural equation modeling showed that both an attitude and subjective norm favoring corruption led to a desire to act corruptly. Given high perceived behavioral control, this desire was transformed into an intention that finally resulted in corrupt action. Components related to general private and professional goals did not allow for any prediction. Based on these results, we discuss preventative measures and methods for combating intra- and inter-organizational corruption.

Keywords

action model business ethics corrupt actor corruption in organizations corruption prevention and counter measures 

Notes

Acknowledgment

We thank the foundation “Wertevolle Zukunft,” the Business Keeper AG, the Telekom AG, and the ABB AG for the financial support for this research project.

References

  1. Ach, N.: 1935, Analyse des Willens. Urban und Schwarzenberg, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  2. Ajzen, I.: 1991, ‘The Theory of Planned Behavior’, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 50(2), 179–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ajzen I. and M. Fishbein 1977, ‘Attitude-Behavior Relations: A Theoretical Analysis and Review of Empirical Research’, Psychological Bulletin 84(5), 888–918CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Amundsen, I.: 1999, ‘Political Corruption: An Introduction to the Issues’, Working Paper 99(7), Chr. Michelsen Institute, Bergen. http://www.cmi.no/publications/1999/wp/wp1999-7.pdf. Accessed 25 Nov 2005
  5. Andving, J. C. and O. Fjeldstad: 2001, ‘Corruption: A Review of Contemporary Research’, CMI Report R 2001:7, Chr. Michelsen Institute, Bergen. http://cmi.no/publications/publication.cfm?pubid=861. Accessed 11 Nov 2005
  6. Argandoña A.: 2003, ‘Private-to-Private Corruption’, Journal of Business Ethics 47(3), 253–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. von Arnim H. H.: 2003, ‘Korruption in Politik und Verwaltung’, In: H. H. von Arnim (eds), Korruption. Netzwerke in Politik, Ämtern und Wirtschaft. Knaur, München, pp. 16–30Google Scholar
  8. Ashforth B. E. and V. Anand: 2003, ‘The Normalization of Corruption in Organizations’, Research in Organizational Behavior 25, 1–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bagozzi R. P.: 1992, ‘The Self-Regulation of Attitudes, Intentions, and Behavior’, Social Psychology Quarterly 55(2), 178–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bagozzi R. P., H. Baumgartner and R. Pieters: 1998, ‘Goal-Directed Emotions’, Cognition and Emotion 12(1), 1–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bagozzi R. P. and U. M. Dholakia: 1999, ‘Goal Setting and Goal Striving in Consumer Behavior’, Journal of Marketing 63, 19–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bagozzi R. P., U. M. Dholakia and S. Basuroy: 2003, ‘How Effortful Decisions Get Enacted: The Motivating Role of Decision Processes, Desires, and Anticipated Emotions’, Journal of Behavioral Decision Making 16(4), 273–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bannenberg B.: 2002, Korruption in Deutschland und ihre strafrechtliche Kontrolle. Luchterhand, NeuwiedGoogle Scholar
  14. Bannenberg B. and W. Schaupensteiner: 2004, Korruption in Deutschland. Beck, MünchenGoogle Scholar
  15. Bommer M., C. Gratto, J. Gravander and M. Tuttle: 1987, ‘A Behavioral Model of Ethical and Unethical Decision Making’, Journal of Business Ethics 6(4), 265–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Borner S. and C. Schwyzer: 1999, ‘Bekämpfung der Bestechung im Lichte der Neuen Politischen Ökonomie’, In: M. Pieth and P. Eigen (eds.), Korruption im internationalen Geschäftsverkehr: Bestandsaufnahme, Bekämpfung, Prävention. Luchterhand, Neuwied, pp. 17–39Google Scholar
  17. Brandstätter V., A. Lengfelder and P. M. Gollwitzer 2001, ‘Implementation Intentions and Efficient Action Initiation’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 81(5), 946–960CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Brasz H. A.: 1970, ‘The Sociology of Corruption’, In: A. J. Heidenheimer (eds.), Political Corruption: Readings in Comparative Analysis. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, pp. 41–45Google Scholar
  19. Brown M. E. and L. K. Trevino 2006, ‘Ethical Leadership: A Review and Future Directions’, The Leadership Quarterly 17(6), 595–616CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Brünner C. (eds) 1981, Korruption und Kontrolle. Böhlau, WienGoogle Scholar
  21. Carrillo, J. D.: 1999, ‘Corruption in Hierarchies’, Annales d’Economie et de Statistique 59. http://www.adres.prd.fr/annales/anciensnumeros/resumes/n59/03.pdf. Accessed 21 Jan 2005
  22. Carver C. S. and M. F. Scheier 1998, On the Self-Regulation of Behavior. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  23. Cherry J. and J. Fraedrich 2000, ‘An Empirical Investigation of Locus of Control and the Structure of Moral Reasoning: Examining the Ethical Decision-Making Processes of Sales Managers’, The Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management 20(3), 173–188Google Scholar
  24. Chin W. W.: 1998, ‘The Partial Least Squares Approach to Structural Equation Modeling’, In: G. A. Marcoulides (eds), Modern methods for business research. Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah, NJ, pp. 295–336Google Scholar
  25. Chin W. W. and P. R. Newsted 1999, ‘Structural Equation Modeling Analysis with Small Samples Using Partial Least Squares’, In: R. H. Hoyle (eds), Statistical Strategies for Small Sample Research. Sage Publications, Tousand Oaks, pp. 307–342Google Scholar
  26. Cole B. C. and D. L. Smith: 1996, ‘Perceptions of Business Ethics: Students vs. Business People’, Journal of Business Ethics 15(8), 889–896CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Coleman J. W.: 1998, The Criminal Elite. Understanding White-Collar Crime, 4th ed. St. Martin’s Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  28. Dollar D., R. Fisman and R. Gatti 2001, ‘Are Women Really the “Fairer” Sex? Corruption and Women in Government’, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 46(4), 423–429CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Dubinsky A. J. and B. Loken 1989, ‘Analyzing Ethical Decision Making in Marketing’, Journal of Business Research 19(2), 83–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Van Duyne P. C.: 2001, ‘Will Caligula Go Transparent? Corruption in Acts and Attitudes’, Forum on Crime and Society 1(2), 73–95Google Scholar
  31. Eagly A. H. and S. Chaiken 1993, The Psychology of Attitudes. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, San Diego, CAGoogle Scholar
  32. Ferrell O. C. and L. G. Gresham 1985, ‘A Contingency Framework for Understanding Ethical Decision Making in Marketing’, Journal of Marketing Management 49(3), 87–96Google Scholar
  33. Ford R. C. and W. D. Richardson 1994, ‘Ethical Decision Making: A Review of the Empirical Literature’, Journal of Business Ethics 13(3), 205–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Fornell C., and F. L. Bookstein 1982, ‘Two Structural Equation Models: LISREL and PLS Applied to Consumer Exit-Voice Theory’, Journal of Marketing Research 19(4), 440–452CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Gatti, R., S. Paternostro and J. Rigolini: 2003, ‘Individual Attitudes Toward Corruption: Do Social Effects Matter?’, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 3122, World Bank, Washington, DC. http://econ.worldbank.org/files/29354_wp3122.pdf. Accessed 28 April 2005
  36. Goel R. K. and D. P. Rich: 1989, ‘On the Economic Incentives for Taking Bribes’, Public Choice 61(3), 269–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Gollwitzer P. M.: 1990, ‘Action Phases and Mind-Sets’, In E. T. Higgins and R. M. Sorrentino (eds.), Handbook of Motivation and Social Cognition. Foundations of Social Behavior, Vol. 2. Guilford Press, New York, pp. 287–312Google Scholar
  38. Gollwitzer, P. M.: 1996, ‘The Volitional Benefits of Planning’, in P. M. Gollwitzer and J. A. Bargh (eds.), The Psychology of Action. Linking Cognition and Motivation to Behavior. Guilford Press, New York, pp. 287–312Google Scholar
  39. Gollwitzer P. M.: 1999, ‘Implementation Intentions: Strong Effects of Simple Plans’, American Psychologist 54(7), 493–503CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Gollwitzer P. M. and V. Brandstätter 1997, ‘Implementation Intentions and Effective Goal Pursuit’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 73(1), 186–199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hacker F.: 1981, ‘Sozialpsychologische Bedingungen der Korruption’, In: C. Brünner (eds), Korruption und Kontrolle. Böhlau, Wien, pp. 137–150Google Scholar
  42. Hansmann K. and C. M. Ringle 2005, Wirkung einer Teilnahme an Unternehmensnetzwerken auf die strategischen Erfolgsfaktoren von Partnerunternehmen – Eine empirische Untersuchung. Die Unternehmung 3, 217–236Google Scholar
  43. Heckhausen, H.: 1987a, ‘Intentionsgeleitetes Handeln und seine Fehler’, in H. Heckhausen, P. M. Gollwitzer and F. E. Weinert (eds.), Jenseits des Rubikon: Der Wille in den Humanwissenschaften (Springer, Heidelberg), pp. 143–175Google Scholar
  44. Heckhausen, H.: 1987b, ‘Wünschen – wählen – wollen’, in H. Heckhausen, P. M. Gollwitzer and F. E. Weinert (eds.), Jenseits des Rubikon: Der Wille in den Humanwissenschaften (Springer, Heidelberg), pp. 3–9Google Scholar
  45. Heckhausen H. 1989, Motivation und Handeln. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  46. Heidenheimer A. J. 2002, ‘Perspectives on the Perception of Corruption’, In A. J. Heidenheimer and M. Johnston (eds.), Political Corruption: Concepts and Contexts. Transaction Publisher, New Brunswick, NJ, pp. 141–154Google Scholar
  47. Hillgruber A. 1912, Fortlaufende Arbeit und Willensbetätigung. Quelle und Meyer, LeipzigGoogle Scholar
  48. Höffling C. 2002, Korruption als soziale Beziehung. LeskeBudrich, OpladenGoogle Scholar
  49. Hunt S. D. and S. J. Vitell 1986, ‘A General Theory of Marketing Ethics’, Journal of Macromarketing 6(1), 5–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Huntington S. P. 1989, ‘Modernization and Corruption’, In: A. J. Heidenheimer and M. Johnston (eds.), Political Corruption: A Handbook. Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, NJ, pp. 253–264Google Scholar
  51. Jones, T. M. 1991, ‘Ethical Decision Making by Individuals in Organizations: An Issue-Contingent Model’, The Academy of Management Review 16(2), 366–395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Khan M. 1996, ‘A Typology of Corrupt Transactions in Developing Countries’, IDS Bulletin 27(2), 12–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Khatri N., E. W. K. Tsang and T. M. Begley 2006, ‘Cronyism: A Cross-Cultural Analysis’, Journal of International Business Studies 37(1), 61–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Kriz W. 2005, ‘Planspiel’, In: S. Kühl, P. Strodtholz and A. Taffertshofer (eds.), Quantitative Methoden der Organisationsforschung. Ein Handbuch. VS-Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden, pp. 243–269Google Scholar
  55. Kubal D., M. Baker and K. Coleman 2006, ‘Doing the Right Thing: How Today’s Leading Companies are Becoming More Ethical’, Performance Improvement 45(3), 5–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Lambsdorff, J. G.: 1999, ‘Corruption in Empirical Research—A Review’, Transparency International Working Paper, Transparency International, Berlin. http://www.transparency.org/working_papers/lambsdorff/lambsdorff_eresearch.html. Accessed 20 Feb 2005
  57. Lambsdorff J. G. 2002, ‘Making Corrupt Deals: Contracting in the Shadow of the Law’, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 48(3), 221–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Lambsdorff, J. G. and S. U. Teksoz: 2002, ‘Corrupt Relational Contracting’, Diskussionsbeitrag Nr. 113, Universität Göttingen, Volkswirtschaftliches Seminar, Göttingen. http://www.icgg.org/downloads/contribution09_utkuteksoz.pdf. Accessed 8 March 2005
  59. Locke E. A. and G. P. Latham: 1990, A Theory of Goal Setting and Task Performance. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJGoogle Scholar
  60. Loe T. W., L. Ferrell and P. Mansfield 2000, ‘A Review of Empirical Studies Assessing Ethical Decision Making in Business’, Journal of Business Ethics 25(3), 185–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Lohmöller J. 1989, Latent Variable Path Modeling with Partial Least Squares. Physica-Verlag, HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
  62. McDonald G. 2000, ‘Business Ethics. Practical Proposals for Organisations’, Journal of Business Ethics 25(2), 169–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Mele A. R. 1995, ‘Motivation: Essentially Motivation-Constituting Attitudes’, Philosophical Review 104(3), 387–423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Mocan H. N. 2004, What Determines Corruption. National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  65. Nunnally J. C. 1978, Psychometric Theory. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  66. Nye J. S. 1967, ‘Corruption and Political Development: A Cost-Benefit Analysis’, American Political Science Review 61(2), 417–427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. O’Fallon M. J. and K. D. Butterfield 2005, ‘A Review of the Empirical Ethical Decision-Making Literature: 1996–2003’, Journal of Business Ethics 59(4), 375–413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Park H. 2003, ‘Determinants of Corruption: A Cross-National Analysis’, The Multinational Business Review 11(2), 29–48Google Scholar
  69. Perugini M. and R. P. Bagozzi 2001, ‘The Role of Desires and Anticipated Emotions in Goal-Directed Behaviours: Broadening and Deepening the Theory of Planned Behaviour’, British Journal of Social Psychology 40(1), 79–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Perugini M. and R. P. Bagozzi 2004, ‘The Distinction Between Desires and Intentions’, European Journal of Social Psychology 34(1), 69–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Perugini M. and M. Conner 2000, ‘Predicting and Understanding Behavioral Volitions: The Interplay Between Goals and Behaviors’, European Journal of Social Psychology 30(5), 705–731CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Pies, I., P. Sass and H. Meyer zu Schwabedissen: 2005, ‘Prävention von Wirtschaftskriminalität—Zur Theorie und Praxis der Korruptionsbekämpfung’, Wirtschaftsethik-Studie Nr. 2005–2, Martin-Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Lehrstuhl für Wirtschaftsethik, Halle. http://www.wiwi.uni-halle.de/linebreak4/mod/netmedia_pdf/data/studie_2005_2.pdf. Accessed 4 Nov 2005
  73. Pitt L. F. and R. Abratt: 1986, ‘Corruption in Business – Are Management Attitudes Right?’, Journal of Business Ethics 5(1), 39–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Powpaka S.: 2002, ‘Factors Affecting Managers’ Decision to Bribe: An Empirical Investigation’, Journal of Business Ethics 40(3), 227–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Rest J. R. 1986, Moral Development: Advances in Research and Theory. Praeger: New YorkGoogle Scholar
  76. Ringle C. M., N. Boysen, S. Wende and A. Will: 2006, ‘Messung von Kausalmodellen mit dem Partial-Least-Squares-Verfahren’, Das Wirtschaftsstudium 1, 81–87Google Scholar
  77. Ringle, C. M., S. Wende and A. Will: 2005, SmartPLS 2.0 (beta) (University of Hamburg, Hamburg). http://www.smartpls.de
  78. Rose-Ackerman S.: 1978, Corruption. A Study in Political Economy. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  79. Rügemer W.: 1996, Wirtschaften ohne Korruption. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am MainGoogle Scholar
  80. Schaupensteiner W.: 2004, ‘Korruption in Deutschland: Lagebild, Maßnahmen und Gefahren’, In: A. Schilling and U. Dolata (eds.), Korruption im Wirtschaftssystem Deutschland. Jeder Mensch hat seinen Preis. Mankau, Murnau a. Staffelsee, pp. 117–136Google Scholar
  81. Schneeweiß H. 1991, ‘Models with latent variables: LISREL Versus PLS’, Statistica Neerlandica 45(2), 145–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Schulze G. G. and B. Frank: 2003, ‘Deterrence Versus Intrinsic Motivation: Experimental Evidence on the Determinants of Corruptibility’, Economics of Governance 4(2), 143–160Google Scholar
  83. Simon D. R. and F. E. Hagan: 1999, White-Collar Deviance. Allyn and Bacon, BostonGoogle Scholar
  84. Stead W. E., D. L. Worrell and J. G. Stead 1990, ‘An Integrative Model for Understanding and Managing Ethical Behavior in Business Organizations’, Journal of Business Ethics 9(3), 233 – 242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Swamy A., S. Knack, Y. Lee and O. Azfar 2001, ‘Gender and Corruption’, Journal of Development Economics 64(1), 25–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Tanzi V. 1995, ‘Corruption, Arm’s-Length Relationships, and Markets’, In: G. Fiorentini and S. Peltzman (eds.), The Economics of Organised Crime. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, MA, pp. 161–180Google Scholar
  87. Tanzi V. 1998, ‘Corruption Around the World: Causes, Consequences, Scope and Cures’, International Monetary Fund Staff Papers 45(4), 559–594CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Taylor S. and P. Todd 1995, ‘Decomposition and Crossover Effects in the Theory of Planned Behavior: A Study of Consumer Adoption Intentions’, International Journal of Research in Marketing 12(2), 137–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Tenenhaus M., V. E. Vinzi, Y. Chatelin and C. Lauro 2005, ‘PLS path modeling’, Computational Statistics & Data Analysis 48(1), 159–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Transparency International: 2005, ‘Report on the Transparency International Global Corruption Barometer 2005’. http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/gcb. Accepted 12 Nov 2006
  91. Treisman D. 2000, ‘The Causes of Corruption: A Cross-National Study’, Journal of Public Economics 76, 399–457CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Trevino L. K. 1986, ‘Ethical Decision Making in Organizations: A Person-Situation Interactionist Model’, The Academy of Management Review 11(3), 601–617CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Vahlenkamp W. and I. Knauß 1995, Korruption – hinnehmen oder handeln. Bundeskriminalamt: WiesbadenGoogle Scholar
  94. Williams R. (eds) 2000, Explaining Corruption. The Politics of Corruption 1. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, CheltenhamGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BayreuthBayreuthGermany

Personalised recommendations