Bribery and corruption: modus operandi or unethical practice?

Pearce, Jeremy, Segon, Michael and Booth, Chris (2014) Bribery and corruption: modus operandi or unethical practice? In: 28th International Business Research Conference, Sept 8-9, 2014, Barcelona, Spain.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


The prevalence of corrupt practices and in particular bribery is increasing adding significant costs to business. Furthermore the advent of anti-bribery legislation and anti corruption bodies are targeting individuals and organsiations that engage in such practices. Corruption is deemed to be more prevalent in developing economies mainly as by-product of the desire for pecuniary gain (Gray & Kaufman 1998). It can be viewed as a symptom of fundamental economic, political and institutional causes and is not due to cultural difference of values or ethics as some authors purport. The opportunity for bribery is usually coupled with poor governance measures, a lack of enforcement of enacted governance legislation, accompanied by poverty, low public sector salaries and inconsistent accountability. A better understanding of why managers offer and accept bribes can assist organsiations in the development of appropriate strategies to manage such risks, particularly in developing economies such as Vietnam.

According to Transparency International (2012) the Corruption Perception Index rankings, Vietnam is 112 out of 183 countries, suggesting it is quite corrupt when compared to Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan ranked 5, 12 and 14 respectively. In 2003 more than half of foreign and local businesses complained that corruption and bureaucracy were major issues when conducting business (United Nations Development Programme, 2010). This paper surveyed the views of over 100 practicing managers in Vietnamese organsiations presents evidence that management perceptions of bribery and corruption in Vietnam are in-line with literature suggestions about the causes of bribery and corruption in emerging economies.

Whilst the paper confirms that unethical practices occur in the majority of organisations in Vietnam, it also highlights inconsistent results with respect to the propensity of managers to accept bribery and corruption and their willingness to engage in these practices. These findings represent a new development in the area of corruption perceptions of managers, particularly as they apply in Vietnam.

Keywords:Bribery, Corruption
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N100 Business studies
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
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ID Code:16445
Deposited On:25 Jan 2015 19:35

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