The dark side of authority: Antecedents, mechanisms, and outcomes of organizational corruption

Ruth V. Aguilera, Abhijeet K. Vadera

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

208 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Corruption poisons corporations in America and around the world, and has devastating consequences for the entire social fabric. In this article, we focus on organizational corruption, described as the abuse of authority for personal benefit, and draw on Weber's three ideal-types of legitimate authority to develop a theoretical model to better understand the antecedents of different types of organizational corruption. Specifically, we examine the types of business misconduct that organizational leaders are likely to engage in, contingent on their legitimate authority, motives, and justifications. We conclude by suggesting managerial implications of our theoretical model and propose directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-449
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Volume77
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Authority
  • Bureaucracy
  • Corruption
  • Justification
  • Motivation
  • Opportunity
  • Types of organizational corruption
  • Weber
  • White-collar crime

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