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The Impacts Of Corruption On Firm Performance: Some Lessons From 40 African Countries

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  • COLIN C. WILLIAMS

    () (Sheffield University Management School (SUMS), University of Sheffield, Conduit Road, Sheffield S10 1FL, United Kingdom)

  • ABBI M. KEDIR

    (Sheffield University Management School (SUMS), University of Sheffield, Conduit Road, Sheffield S10 1FL, United Kingdom)

Abstract

The current evidence-base regarding the impacts of corruption on firm performance is based largely on studies of individual countries and contains mixed results. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to achieve a better insight into this relationship by reporting the results of a firm-level analysis of the impacts of corruption on firm performance using World Bank Enterprise Survey (WBES) data across 40 African countries. The clear result is that corruption significantly enhances rather than harms annual sales, employment and productivity growth rates. The outcome is to re-theorize participation in acts of corruption as beneficial for the individual firms engaged in such activity, while recognizing the wider evidence that this is not an optimal strategy at the aggregate country level. The outcome will be to advance knowledge about how corruption needs to be tackled. To eliminate corruption, it is shown here to be necessary for public authorities to recognize that corruption is an efficient strategy at the firm level and to adopt measures to alter the cost/benefit ratio confronting individual enterprises, and at the same time, to address the country-level formal institutional deficiencies that characterize many developing countries and result in the prevalence of corruption.

Suggested Citation

  • Colin C. Williams & Abbi M. Kedir, 2016. "The Impacts Of Corruption On Firm Performance: Some Lessons From 40 African Countries," Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship (JDE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 21(04), pages 1-18, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:wsi:jdexxx:v:21:y:2016:i:04:n:s1084946716500229
    DOI: 10.1142/S1084946716500229
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Malkina, M. & Ovchinnikov, V., 2020. "Influence of regulatory burden and involvement of business in corruption on revenue: Grease vs sand effect," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 47(3), pages 40-65.
    2. Ackah, Charles Godfred & Görg, Holger & Hanley, Aoife & Hornok, Cecília, 2020. "Why are Africa's female entrepreneurs not playing the export game? Evidence from Ghana," KCG Working Papers 22, Kiel Centre for Globalization (KCG).
    3. Chei Bukari & Emm anuel Atta Anaman, 0. "Corruption and firm innovation: a grease or sand in the wheels of commerce? Evidence from lower-middle and upper-middle income economies," Eurasian Business Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 0, pages 1-36.
    4. Lee, Chien-Chiang & Wang, Chih-Wei & Ho, Shan-Ju, 2020. "Country governance, corruption, and the likelihood of firms’ innovation," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 326-338.
    5. Ackah, Charles Godfred & Görg, Holger & Hanley, Aoife & Hornok, Cecília, 2020. "Why are Africa's female entrepreneurs not playing the export game? Evidence from Ghana," Kiel Working Papers 2168, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    6. Arega Shumetie & Mulugeta Damie Watabaji, 2019. "Effect of corruption and political instability on enterprises’ innovativeness in Ethiopia: pooled data based," Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 1-19, December.

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