Corruption in international business

Published on Jan 1, 2016in Journal of World Business
· DOI :10.1016/j.jwb.2015.08.015
Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra33
Estimated H-index: 33
(NU: Northeastern University)
I analyze corruption in international business, presenting a critical assessment of the topic and providing suggestions for future research. I argue that corruption creates a laboratory for expanding international business studies because its illegal nature, the differences in perception about illegality, and the variation in the enforcement of laws against bribery across countries challenge some of the assumptions upon which arguments have been built, i.e., that managers can choose appropriate actions without major legal implications. Hence, I first provide suggestion for how to analyze the topic of corruption in future studies by analyzing the types, measures, causes, consequences, and controls of corruption. I then provide suggestions for how to extend leading theories of the firm by using corruption as a laboratory that challenges some of the assumptions of these theories: extending agency theory by analyzing the existence of unethical agency relationships; extending transaction cost economics by analyzing illegal transaction costs minimization; extending the resource-based view by studying corporate social irresponsibility capability; extending resource dependency by analyzing the ethical power escape; and extending neo-institutional theory by studying illegal legitimacy.
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