An Empirical Investigation on Firms' Proactive and Passive Motivation for Bribery in China

Journal of Business Ethics 118 (3):461-472 (2013)
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This research investigates firms’ bribery motivations in China. Based on resource dependence theory and anomie theory, we identify resource conditions as firms’ proactive motivation to bribe and firms’ perceived institutional environment as their passive motivation to bribe. We use the data from 2002 World Business Environment Survey, collected by the World Bank, to investigate firms’ bribery in the world’s largest emerging market, China. We employ a multi-level logistic model to test our hypotheses. The results show that unsatisfactory general and task environmental conditions may trigger firms to bribe in order to compete for better resources and opportunities; institutional conditions such as the security expenditure and anomie climate may make firms perceive bribery as a common phenomenon and thus induce firms to bribe. This research provides some insights to understand business bribery behaviors in emerging market. It also discusses some managerial implications and guidelines for policy-making from the findings



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