Analysis of An Empirical Investigation on Firms’ Proactive and Passive Motivation for Bribery in China

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“Each decision that a business manager makes involves not only a personal decision, but also a decision on behalf of, and in the name of, an organization that exists with a particular social, legal, and political environment ” (Hartman, DesJardins, & MacDonald, 2014, p.15). In the article, “An Empirical Investigation on Firms’ Proactive and Passive Motivation for Bribery in China” Xiaoyu Zhou, Yi Han, and Rui Wang (2013) seek to explain why companies in the manner of doing daily business extend to conduct business through bribery. After reading the article, I found the findings substantiate the lack of ethical decision made by individuals, government, and management in China’s corporations through the data retrieved on bribery from the World Business Environment Survey to explain why businesses are motivated by bribery as a way of managing a business.
New businesses entering a developing market may find it difficult to establish the firm validly ethical due to the environmental resources and governmental influence. In China, many businesses are limited in acquiring resources; therefore it is necessary to obtain goods through any means necessary. The resource dependence theory and the anomie theory seek to rationalize why firms resort to bribery while attempting to secure resources and by the local administrative factor. “The resource dependence theory proposes that firms make strategies in order to seek resources in the environment; while the anomie theory argues that the unethical firm behaviors are actually fostered by the local institutional environment” Zhou et al., 2013, p. 461.
If a company cannot obtain the necessary resources to operate legitimately than for the firm to continue to operating, oftentimes the compan...

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...hat ethical decision making can flourish” (Hartman, et al., 2014, p. 162).
Zhou et al. could have gone into more detail in how management could cultivate employees into leaders and how managers can encourage change within a firm. I would explain why leadership and employee participation and involvement are crucial to creating change. Zhou et al. identified the motivation behind the bribery, but didn’t offer any solutions on how to initiate the change.

Works Cited

Hartman, L. P., DesJardins, J., & MacDonald, C. (2014). Business ethics: Decision making for personal integrity & social responsibility (3rd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.Shen, K.F. (2011).
Zhou, X., Han, Y., & Wang R. (2013). An empirical investigation on firms’ proactive and passive motivation for bribery in China. Journal of Business Ethics, 118, 461-472. doi: 10.1007/s10551-012-1596-8