Do competitive environments lead to the rise and spread of unethical behavior? Parallels from Enron

Journal of Business Ethics 83 (4):703-723 (2008)

Abstract
While top-down descriptors have received much attention in explaining corruption, we develop a grassroots model to describe structural factors that may influence the emergence and spread of an individual's ethical behavior within organizations. We begin with a discussion of the economics justification of the benefits of competition, a rationale used by firms to adopt structural aides such as the 'stacking' practice that was implemented at Enron. We discuss and develop an individual-level theory of planned behavior, then extend it to the dyadic level in an internally competitive organization, and finally extend the dyadic model to the social network. We apply social network theory to predict favorable and unfavorable conditions for the emergence and diffusion of an intraorganizational instance of unethical behavior and find that network conditions favoring the suppression of the emergence of unethical behavior also promote its diffusion. For illustrative purposes, we utilize examples from Enron's internally competitive structure to embed our arguments in a real world context and bring reality to our theorizing. Implications for both researchers and managers are discussed
Keywords Philosophy   Quality of Life Research   Management/Business for Professionals   Economic Growth   Ethics
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10551-007-9659-y
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 40,625
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

So Then Why Did You Do It?John Dunkelberg & Debra Ragin Jessup - 2001 - Journal of Business Ethics 29 (1-2):51 - 63.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2014-03-12

Total views
3 ( #1,150,174 of 2,242,246 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #1,043,569 of 2,242,246 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature