Charting Corporate Corruption: Agency, Structure and by Peter Fleming

By Peter Fleming

Within the post-Enron period, company corruption has more and more featured at the examine schedule. This informative publication presents a unique technique via charting the particular explanations of corruption. This hugely topical quantity demonstrates how organization (the judgements and offerings of people) and constitution (the contextual pressures within the enterprise atmosphere) can engage to bring about the quick escalation of company crime and corruption. via reading and describing the social-psychological dimensions of this escalation, the e-book prescribes preventive measures that may be tailored and carried out via company corporations. Loaded with case reviews and potential recommendations, Charting company Corruption may be necessary to post-graduates learning enterprise ethics, sociology and psychology, and to researchers looking new theories and ideas during this box.

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Example text

According to Kohlberg and Turiel (1973), only around 20 per cent of American adults reach the final stage of moral development. According to subsequent measures, most find themselves somewhere in level two. Extending the individual-centric approach to unethical and corrupt behaviour, Trevino (1986) adds other character variables that pin down the dispositional make-up of the bad apple. Important here is whether someone acts consistently with their moral dispositions as outlined above. For example, if a senior executive at Siemens felt it was morally wrong to establish illegal slush funds in order to win contracts through bribery, would they act in accordance with that conviction?

Together, these variables represent the sum of inborn characteristics, life experiences and circumstances of upbringing that might lead people to decide to act in a corrupt manner (or otherwise). First are personal attributes: strength of religious belief is linked to ethical standards. Sex and gender research indicates that females are more likely to act ethically, while research around age proves to be inconclusive as studies show both older and younger employees may be more ethically orientated.

The situational explanation places more emphasis on the environmental forces that lead particular individuals down the path of corporate illegality. The distinction is important, but slippery and in many ways unsatisfactory. Take the example of the Ford Pinto case: in the early 1970s Ford engineers noticed an unusually high number of deaths resulting from impact-ignited fires in the Pinto model. After further investigation, it was discovered that the Pinto carried a major design flaw since its petrol tank was positioned too close to the car’s body, leading to devastating fires following even minor accidents.

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