Hierarchies, Power Inequalities, and Organizational Corruption
This article uses social dominance theory (SDT) to explore the dynamic and systemic nature of the initiation and maintenance of organizational corruption. Rooted in the definition of organizational corruption as misuse of power or position for personal or organizational gain, this work suggests that organizational corruption is driven by the individual and institutional tendency to structure societies as group-based social hierarchies. SDT describes a series of factors and processes across multiple levels of analysis that systemically contribute to the initiation and maintenance of social hierarchies and associated power inequalities, favoritism, and discrimination. I posit that the same factors and processes also contribute to individuals’ lower awareness of the misuse of power and position within the social hierarchies, leading to the initiation and maintenance of organizational corruption. Specifically, individuals high in social dominance orientation, believing that they belong to superior groups, are likely to be less aware of corruption because of their feeling of entitlement to greater power and their desire to maintain dominance even if that requires exploiting others. Members of subordinate groups are also likely to have lower awareness of corruption if they show more favoritism toward dominant group members to enhance their sense of worth and preserve social order. Institutions contribute to lower awareness of corruption by developing and enforcing structures, norms, and practices that promote informational ambiguity and maximize focus on dominance and promotion. Dynamic coordination among individuals and institutions is ensured through the processes of person-environment fit and legitimizing beliefs, ideologies, or rationalizations. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Mishra, Ajit, 2002.
"Hierarchies, incentives and collusion in a model of enforcement,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 165-178, February.
- Ajit Mishra, 2000. "Hierarchies, Incentives And Collusion In A Model Of Enforcement," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 112, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
- A Mishra, . "Hierarchies, Incentives And Collusion In Model Of Enforcement," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 067, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
- Raghuram Rajan & Julie Wulf, 2003.
"The Flattening Firm: Evidence from Panel Data on the Changing Nature of Corporate Hierarchies,"
NBER Working Papers
9633, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Raghuram G. Rajan & Julie Wulf, 2006. "The Flattening Firm: Evidence from Panel Data on the Changing Nature of Corporate Hierarchies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 759-773, November.
- Osipian, Ararat, 2007.
"Corrupt Organizational Hierarchies in the Former Soviet Bloc,"
7591, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Ararat Osipian, 2010. "Corrupt Organizational Hierarchies in the Former Soviet Bloc," Transition Studies Review, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 822-836, December.
- Kofman, F. & Lawarree, J., 1990.
"Collusion in Hierarchical Agency,"
Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington
91-01, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
- Amir N. Licht & Chanan Goldschmidt & Shalom H. Schwartz, 2003.
"Culture Rules: The Foundations of the Rule of Law and Other Norms of Governance,"
William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series
2003-605, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
- Licht, Amir N. & Goldschmidt, Chanan & Schwartz, Shalom H., 2007. "Culture rules: The foundations of the rule of law and other norms of governance," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 659-688, December.
- Bac, Mehmet, 1996. "Corruption and Supervision Costs in Hierarchies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 99-118, April.
- Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Peter, Klara Sabirianova, 2006.
"Public Sector Pay and Corruption: Measuring Bribery from Micro Data,"
IZA Discussion Papers
1987, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Sabirianova Peter, Klara, 2007. "Public sector pay and corruption: Measuring bribery from micro data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 963-991, June.
- Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Sabirianova Peter, Klara, 2006. "Public Sector Pay and Corruption: Measuring Bribery from Micro Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 5585, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Rafael Di Tella & Alberto Ades, 1999. "Rents, Competition, and Corruption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 982-993, September.
- Kessler, Anke S., 2000. "On Monitoring and Collusion in Hierarchies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 280-291, April.
- Frank, Bjorn & Schulze, Gunther G., 2000. "Does economics make citizens corrupt?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 101-113, September.
- William M. Evan, 1963. "Indices of the Hierarchical Structure of Industrial Organizations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 9(3), pages 468-477, April.
- Bryan W Husted, 1999. "Wealth, Culture, and Corruption," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 30(2), pages 339-359, June.
- Juan D. CARRILLO, 2000. "Corruption in Hierarchies," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 59, pages 37-61.
- Williamson, Oliver E, 1973. "Markets and Hierarchies: Some Elementary Considerations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 316-25, May.
- Niki A. Nieuwenboer & Muel Kaptein, 2008. "Spiraling Down into Corruption: A Dynamic Analysis of the Social Identity Processes that Cause Corruption in Organizations to Grow," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 83(2), pages 133-146, December.
- Singhapakdi, Anusorn & Vitell, Scott J. & Kraft, Kenneth L., 1996. "Moral Intensity and Ethical Decision-Making of Marketing Professionals," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 245-255, July.
- Celia Moore, 2008. "Moral Disengagement in Processes of Organizational Corruption," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 80(1), pages 129-139, June.
- Bac, Mehmet, 1996. "Corruption, Supervision, and the Structure of Hierarchies," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 277-98, October.
- Mishra, Ajit, 2006. "Persistence of corruption: some theoretical perspectives," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 349-358, February.
- Khalil, Fahad & Lawarree, Jacques, 1995. "Collusive Auditors," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 442-46, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:111:y:2012:i:2:p:237-251. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.