Management Challenges and Symptoms
New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Janice Langan-Fox, Cary L. Cooper and Richard J. Klimoski
Chapter 14: The Role of Organizational Practices and Routines in Facilitating Normalized Corruption
Mahendra Joshi, Vikas Anand and Kevin Henderson Introduction In this chapter we argue that ﬁrms become highly susceptible to normalized corruption when organizational practices that are essential for the functioning of the ﬁrm assume a taken-for-granted character. When mindlessly enacted, many common practices are likely to increase the probability that employees will rationalize unethical acts, that newcomers will be easily socialized into ongoing corruption, and that corruption will become institutionalized in organizational processes and routines. For example, some compensation characteristics can lock in employees to develop standards of living that cannot be maintained easily in other jobs and force them to rationalize their immoral acts; certain types of organizational structures may distance employees from the aﬀected stakeholders and increase chances of employees engaging in unethical behaviors without conscious thought about their actions; an imperfectly communicated code of ethics can proliferate corruption instead of reducing it; and ﬁnally the ways of handling the discovery of immoral acts can inﬂuence whether the organization is likely to face an ongoing corruption in future. We highlight these issues and suggest ways in which organizations can guard themselves against the harmful unethical consequences of routine organizational practices. In the wake of several recent corporate scandals, we have witnessed a tremendous amount of scholarly work in improving our understanding of organizational corruption. Several researchers have oﬀered frameworks that help us understand how corruption sets in and perpetuates within ﬁrms. For example, recently, Ashforth and Anand (2003) pointed out that corrupt practices can prevail...
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