Organizational Change, Normative Control Deinstitutionalization, and Corruption

Business Ethics Quarterly 19 (1):105-130 (2009)
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Abstract

ABSTRACT:Despite widespread attention to corruption and organizational change in the literature, to our knowledge, no research has attempted to understand the linkages between these two powerful organizational phenomena. Accordingly, we draw on major theories in ethics, sociology, and management to develop a theoretical framework for understanding how organizational change can sometimes generate corruption. We extend anomie theory and ethical climate theory to articulate the deinstitutionalization of the normative control system and argue that, through this deinstitutionalization, organizations have the potential to become incubators for corruption. We qualify this process by proposing conditions more ripe for anomie and under which this deinstitutionalization is more likely to occur, propounding moderating relationships that influence organizational reconfiguration. Examples of turbulence in the contemporary business environment that can trigger change highlight our discussion. We conclude with managerial implications, offering means by which the deleterious effects of corruption may be arrested or controlled.

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