Journal of International Business Studies

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 61–75 | Cite as

Cronyism: a cross-cultural analysis

  • Naresh KhatriEmail author
  • Eric W K Tsang
  • Thomas M Begley


The devastating economic effects of the Asian financial crisis and US corporate scandals have underscored the need to strengthen corporate governance provisions. Although cronyism has been suggested as a leading cause of the two crises, it has received little attention from scholars. In this paper, we analyze the concept of cronyism and argue that it comes in various guises arising from different motivational bases and power dependence relations. We distinguish cronyism from related constructs and posit that it is a form of corruption with different dynamics from other forms. We advance propositions on its likelihood of occurrence across cultures and develop a typology of cronyist exchanges.


cronyism individualism guanxi corruption cultural syndromes relational models 



We would like to thank Kwok Leung (Departmental Editor), three anonymous referees, Parthiban David, Chris Earley, Luis Gomez, Roy Lewicki, Mike Peng, Abdul Rasheed, Harry Triandis, Lai-Si Tsui-Auch, and seminar participants at the Nanyang Technological University and the National University of Singapore for their valuable and constructive comments.


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Copyright information

© Academy of International Business 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naresh Khatri
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eric W K Tsang
    • 2
  • Thomas M Begley
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Health Management and Informatics, University of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Business DepartmentWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA
  3. 3.Department of ManagementUniversity College DublinIreland
  4. 4.International Management Group, Northeastern UniversityBostonUSA

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