Being an Ethical Business in a Corrupt Environment
Harvard Business Review
Harvard Business Publishing
Reason for embargo
Under indefinite embargo due to publisher policy.
In environments with widespread corruption, most business leaders hesitate to take a firm stand against corruption. However, research conducted in Egypt, Zimbabwe, and India shows that organizations should view building a strong ethical reputation in such environments as an opportunity to differentiate themselves. To do this, companies can follow four steps. First, frame their ethical behavior in a way that resonates with as wide a network of stakeholders as possible. Second, understand that there are gradations of corruption. Third, acquire a fine-grained understanding of their stakeholders. Fourth, strategically build partnerships with high-status individuals and organizations, a tactic referred to as “reputation borrowing.”
The final version is available from Harvard Business Publishing via the URL in this record