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Business corruption: cheating the system or using opportunities?
University of Exeter Business School
Corrupt behaviour in organisations involves individuals or groups of people behaving in ways that are outside usually accepted norms for the organisation and/or society at large. This may include influencing or coercing some members of the group to act in ways that are normally unacceptable to them. Such behaviour might be expected to cause stress to, or indeed be as a result of stress for, the individuals and groups concerned. By refusing to join in the corrupt behaviour of their group, such people risk being alienated from it, something that they would find highly stressful. A series of experiments involving both students and the business community in the U.K., showed that individuals who identified strongly with their group behaved corruptly not only to support their wider socially identified category, but also in support of smaller immediate groups. In all cases, high identifiers experienced less stress than low identifiers. A model of group identity, stress and corruption is introduced.