Determinants of Corruption: A Cross-National Analysis

By Park, Hoon | Multinational Business Review, Fall 2003 | Go to article overview

Determinants of Corruption: A Cross-National Analysis


Park, Hoon, Multinational Business Review


ABSTRACT: The background literature survey points to the fact that the degree of corruption is a function of multiple factors of a society. Thus, it is imperative to take a more comprehensive and cross-disciplinary approach to understand the complete picture of corruption. The research findings indicate economic freedom, socio-political stability, tradition of law abidance and national cultures are the major variables that dictate the degree of corruption. This study expands the existing knowledge about the determinants of corruption and provides incremental information to help the policy makers fight against this cancerous social disease.

INTRODUCTION

The worldwide spread of corruption has been recognized as one of the darker sides of globalization. As Glynn, Kobrin, and Naim (1997) argue, corruption impedes economic development and distorts international trade and investment flow. It also undermines the very base of multilateralism, which is the backbone of free world trade. Recently, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As) and strategic alliances. The strategic alliances and cross-border M&As depend more on mutual trust than on the traditional firm. Different norms and standards of business ethics can significantly reduce the level of this mutual trust and belief, preventing the establishment and maintenance of internationally accepted "rules of the game." This is the reason why so many international agencies, including the World Bank and OECD, denounce corruption as one of the major problems faced by a globalized world economy, and recently started to take the initiative in combating corruption.

However, fighting against corruption is not an easy task because corruption is a very complex and intertwined social phenomenon. A consensus from the survey of the previous literature points to the fact that the degree of corruption is a function of multiple factors, including almost every aspect of society. Given this, it is surprising to find a paucity of cross-disciplinary research that simultaneously examines the various aspects of corruption. Thus, the main thrust of this research is to take a more comprehensive and cross-disciplinary approach to understand the major determinants of this multifaceted social and economic phenomenon.

BACKGROUND RESEARCH

Corruption has been defined in many different ways. Even though many articles devote their entirety to this subject alone (Heidenheimer, Johnston and Levine, 1989; Gardiner, 1993; Dolan, McKeown & Carlson, 1988), there is little consensus about its definition. However, Johnston (1996) provides an excellent typology for the definition of corruption. He identifies two different strands in the literature. The first strand (Nye, 1967; Friedrich, 1966; Van Klaveren, 1989; Heidenheimer, 1989) focuses on the behavioral aspects of corruption. These behavior-focused definitions generally hold the notion that corruption is the abuse of public office, powers, or resources for private gain. The second strand focuses more on principal-agent-client relationships (e.g., Rose-Akerman, 1978; Klitgaard, 1988). These researchers pay more attention to the interactions among the parties involved: a principal (an individual who is in charge of carrying out a public function), an agent (an individual who actually performs the operation of the agency), and a client (a private individual with whom the agent interacts). Even if the second approach provides us with a clearer picture of the complex nature of corruption, it is very difficult to draw an operational definition of corruption from this approach. Thus, we decided to use the first approach, which offers the most commonly accepted operational definition of corruption: "the abuse of public power for private benefit"

There is a proliferation of literature on corruption in general. However, many researchers recently pay a greater attention to the causes and antecedents of corruption in an attempt to develop effective tools to fight against it. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Determinants of Corruption: A Cross-National Analysis
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.