By Peter Fleming

Within the post-Enron period, company corruption has more and more featured at the examine schedule. This informative publication presents a unique procedure via charting the particular motives of corruption. This hugely topical quantity demonstrates how corporation (the judgements and offerings of people) and constitution (the contextual pressures within the company atmosphere) can engage to lead to the swift escalation of company crime and corruption. by way of examining and describing the social-psychological dimensions of this escalation, the ebook prescribes preventive measures that may be tailored and applied via company agencies. Loaded with case reports and potential ideas, Charting company Corruption can be worthwhile to post-graduates learning enterprise ethics, sociology and psychology, and to researchers looking new theories and ideas during this box.

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Extra info for Charting Corporate Corruption: Agency, Structure and Escalation

Sample text

The first concerns the role of situation – many ‘Bad apple’ approaches to organizational corruption 31 models of ethical behaviour now endeavour to inject some aspect of environmental forces into the mix when explaining why individuals might engage in corruption. If good apples are placed in bad barrels, then the focus shifts from bad individuals to the social supports and temptations that lead otherwise ordinary citizens to cheat. In other words, the ‘bad apple’ perspective downplays the environmental cues that might lead most of us to act unethically if placed in apposite conditions.

As Gioia (1992) shows, certain institutional scripts were present that rationalized the decisions, thus allaying the remorse that the agents might otherwise have experienced as a mitigating inhibition. These and other situational factors will be explored in more detail in the following chapters. But as far as the situational explanation fared as the scandal unfolded in the media, business schools and the business press, any discussion of ‘the ‘Bad apple’ approaches to organizational corruption 21 environment’ was dismissed as a tricky mechanism for absolving the guilt of the key perpetrators.

While some, such as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Andy Fastow, discussed in the last chapter, fully confessed that they were driven by greed and ambition, others maintained their innocence through a variety of strange and wistful justifications. The Enron debacle, yet again, provides such a colourful illustration of this phenomenon. Given the ideology of ‘greatness’ that the company had cultivated among its employees via propaganda campaigns, as well as in the gushing business press, a number of key participants in the fraudulent activity appeared to have convinced themselves that their unethical behaviour was justified.

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