Playing the Game: Unpacking the Rationale for Organizational Corruption in MNCs

Stelios Zyglidopoulos*, Marleen Dieleman, Paul Hirsch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


What conditions must be present for multinational companies (MNCs) to benefit from corruption? We argue that corrupt acts by organizations can be profitable if four conditions are met: there must be an opportunity to do so, the risks must be perceived as low, the organization must be willing to engage in corruption, and it must have some skill in converting such acts into organizational advantages. We believe all of these conditions are necessary for organizational corruption to “pay off.” We argue that these conditions would most likely be present in MNCs from corrupt environments investing in other countries rife with corruption. However, if each of the conditions must be present for the return on corruption to be sufficient, each also offers opportunities to eliminate organizational corruption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-349
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Management Inquiry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • MNC
  • bribery
  • corruption
  • developing economies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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