Notes on the Origin of 'The Normalization of Corruption'

Management INK, Forthcoming

3 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2016

See all articles by J.S. Nelson

J.S. Nelson

Villanova Law School; Villanova School of Business; The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; Institute for Corruption Studies

Date Written: December 7, 2016

Abstract

My forthcoming article on “The Normalization of Corruption” in the November 2016 issue of the Journal of Management Inquiry started in a fairly unusual way. I am an attorney — a former prosecutor and commercial litigator — who has taught in business schools for nearly ten years. My work focuses on both entrepreneurship and business ethics.

But the differences between law and business still surprise me. The “Normalization of Corruption” article wrote itself. The management material told part of the story, and the additional keys were in law and behavioral ethics. There is a pronounced cycle: the fact that misconduct is perceived by individuals to be so widespread has led to a normalization of corruption within companies and industries. The contribution of the law — and this part is particularly vicious — is that the normalization of corruption, in turn, helps to defeat attempts to prosecute the misconduct and to prevent its spread. Normalizing corruption tells individuals not only that it is acceptable to cheat, but that cheating is the behavior now expected of them and for which they will be rewarded.

Keywords: Law, Business, Government, Politics, Political Economy, Corruption, Ethics, Business, Norms, Social Theory, Courts

Suggested Citation

Nelson, Josephine, Notes on the Origin of 'The Normalization of Corruption' (December 7, 2016). Management INK, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2882232

Josephine Nelson (Contact Author)

Villanova Law School ( email )

299 N. Spring Mill Road
Villanova, PA 19085
United States

Villanova School of Business ( email )

800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085-1678
United States

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania ( email )

3730 Walnut Street
Room 668 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6340
United States

Institute for Corruption Studies

Stevenson Hall 425
Normal, IL 61790-4200
United States

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