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Research Companion to Corruption in Organizations

Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Cary L. Cooper

Corruption in organizations is creating an increasing number of victims and causing huge costs. This timely book brings together international researchers who address the causes and consequences of corruption in organizations and the action needed to reduce levels of corruption worldwide.
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Chapter 3: Research on Corruption and Unethical Behavior in Organizations: The Use of Conjoint Analysis

Robert Folger, Robert Pritchard and Rebecca L. Greenbaum


Robert Folger, Robert Pritchard, Rebecca L. Greenbaum and Deborah DiazGranados Introduction Hardly any writing on the subject of corruption in business can conclude its first paragraph without the mention of one or more high-profile scandals. In addition to cases of such broad scope, however, there are instances of corruption, white-collar crime, and ethical lapses in business practices that often fly under the radar. These lesser offenses, or milder forms of corruption, can go unreported as a result. In all likelihood they may not see the light of day without actions such as whistleblowing, which in turn probably will not occur unless someone is concerned enough about the offense in the first place. In this chapter we address a methodology – conjoint analysis – for assessing the perceived seriousness of various acts of corruption (which we assume should relate to the odds that such acts will be reported). The measurement of seriousness perceptions can, of course, extend from ratings of minor acts to those of the most scandalous in nature. The point we wish to make is readily illustrated in terms of one of the most recent compilations of articles on corruption in business. A special issue of the Academy of Management Review (Ashforth et al., 2008) addressed business corruption and included four articles. Although their discussion of numerous issues was wide-ranging, none included discussion of methods for measuring perceptions of the seriousness of whitecollar crimes and corruption in business. It is just such a measurement methodology that we review. In particular, we...

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