Corruption: Legal and Ethical Issues

Subject: Business Ethics
Pages: 5
Words: 1177
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: PhD


In business administration, there are some ethical and legal considerations. Legal considerations play vital functions in domestic and global business settings by offering the guidelines for operations (Guilherme, 2012). Informed policymaking necessitates knowledge of the basics of the American and global legal systems. Such systems may comprise of regulations overseeing contracts, business relations, work, and individual assets. On the other hand, ethical considerations center on how companies and their administrators, supervisors, and workers may go beyond supervisory acquiescence in their policymaking procedures (Keyvan & Golafshani, 2010). Ethical considerations may comprise of documentation of investors and their interests and business social accountability. Legal and ethical issues enhance risks for companies. In this regard, they should be evaded, minimized, or controlled. During the research process, researchers were required to select a topic of interest in business administration. Thereafter, they were required to carry out additional research on the topic to understand its ethical and legal considerations. Corruption was selected as a topic. The paper below focuses on legal and ethical issues concerning corruption.

Critique of the issues

While most of the developed countries have reduced levels of corruption, it should be noted that cases of corruption and bribery are not rare. In the year 2012, up to sixty percent of American citizens believed that corruption was very rampant in businesses (Voliotis, 2015). For business administration, officials or entities who exploit their influence to advance personal gain and opportunistic conduct perpetuate corruption. The vice is regarded as one of the most challenging concerns of public administration ethics. Therefore, business administrators should be informed about legal and ethical issues related to corruption.

Concerning administration ethics, corruption represents an attack on a business an organization, or a country’s economy. In this regard, corruption is considered a repudiation of the conventional structures of societal exchange in a specific business environment. For this reason, the vice is so treacherous for democracy and the administrative economy of businesses. Considered that the vice is a negation of affirmative structures of exchange and business progress, it is a model of damage and suspension of businesses. Therefore, corruption characterizes an obstruction within the progressive societal and financial structures. When businesses use corruption to attain a precise social benefit or merchandise, open and unbiased competition is deferred by the action of purchasing treats that should instead be purchased through free choice.

Given the above, an understanding of the ethical implications of corruption in businesses is important to all business administrators. The problem attacks the basic social structures of a fair society and businesses. Corruption and bribery of business administrators signify a problem to the democratic unity of businesses because employees are not accomplishing treats or promotions based on excellence, transparency, or commonly legal standards but rather with respect to their influence and capability to bribe the administrative system.

Concerning legal concern, the American anticorruption laws perceive corruption as a threat to domestic and global security and business interests. The US government is at the forefront in fighting against international corruption. In the year 1977, an act was passed to enhance this fight (Kaufmann & Pedro, 2011). The act was named the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Through the act, individuals and entities are prohibited from bribing overseas officials in a bid to gain or maintain commercial deals. Based on the above, it is apparent that engaging in corruption is punishable by law. Therefore, business administrators should be informed of the legal implications of engaging in the vice. As such, business administrators found guilty to have committed the crime are likely to be suspended, fired, or prosecuted. Similarly, companies should note that cases of corruption could destroy their reputation. Corruption cases can affect a company’s respect among its clients, which may lead to a fall in their sales. The business claimed to have participated in corruption are also likely to be involved in legal cases. Such legal cases are time-consuming and are very costly. Businesses can also be suspended from operation when found guilty to have participated in severe cases of corruption. Hence, business administrators should fight against corruption in their companies to avoid such issues.

In the absence of appropriate checks and balances and notions of integrity and impartiality, corruption will be a threat to businesses. In this regard, the establishment of democratic administrative systems and institutions in businesses is the most appropriate way of ending corruption-related issues (Roy, 2007). For that reason, businesses should be at the forefront in the fight against corruption by acting as examples. Business administrators should lead as an example to their employees. Through this, businesses will be able to get rid of internal corruption.

There are several means of addressing issues related to corruption. One of the methods involves the formulation of practical and strict laws against the vice. Through this, businesses and governments will be able to discourage individuals from engaging in the vice. The penalties should outweigh the benefits of engaging in the vice. Similarly, domestic businesses and international businesses should work hand in hand in formulating appropriate international laws aimed at fighting corruption. Through this approach, anti-corruption institutions should be formed and strengthened to fight against the vice and to implement anti-corruption laws.

The fight against corruption should not only be focused on penalizing the culprits. A comprehensive remedy should aim deeper than outlawing and prosecution. The vice should be prevented by producing transparent and responsible and dependable systems of authority. Similarly, administrations should enhance public honesty and morals. Through this, they are required to challenge social norms that encourage the vice and uphold those that oppose it. To produce effective and functional systems, they should factor in ethics and standard codes needed to tolerate advancement.

Similarly, children should be taught from an early age about the disadvantages of engaging in corruption. Children should also be taught the importance of being honest and abiding by the laid protocols. Educational curriculum from pre-school to colleges should advance to comprise of widespread education on rightness, honesty, and ethics. The syllabus should offer models of corrupt and improper behavior and illustrate the consequences of immoral behaviors (Elijah, 2000). By doing so, the students will less likely to be engaged in corruption when they enter into the corporate world. Their preparation will also inform on means of identifying and deterring cases of corruption before they progress.

It should be noted that corruption can be managed but cannot be completely eradicated. In this regard, once individuals comprehend and start to appreciate the ideals of honesty and ethics in their daily practice the vice will be managed. The major reason the vice has persisted in the corporate world is that individuals have learned to accept it. Individuals have learned to endure the vice at the expense of their businesses and country. Unknowingly, a number of these individuals are paralyzing their businesses and countries by compromising on developments.

The fight against corruption should not only be focused on penalizing the culprits. A comprehensive remedy should aim deeper than outlawing and prosecution. Indicated below is the assignment signature utilized.


Elijah, S. (2000). Business ethics: A 21st-century perspective: Teaching Ethics The thinking curriculum [DVD]. Lawrenceville, Films Media Group.

Guilherme, T. (2012). The Janus Look of Administration. Which Look? Journal of Management. 29(3)12-15.

Kaufmann D., and Pedro V. (2011). Legal Corruption. Economics & Politics 23(2), 195-219.

Keyvan, S. & Golafshani N, (2010). Commentary: Using Mixed Methods In Research Studies – An Opportunity With Its Challenges International. Journal of Multiple Research Approaches 4(3). 186-191.

Roy, A. (2007). Corruption in Business: Management Theory and Practice. International Journal of Business 1(3). 311-312.

Voliotis, S. (2015). Establishing The Normative Standards That Determine Deviance In Organizational Corruption: Is Corruption Within Organizations Antisocial Or Unethical. Journal of Business Ethics. 2(3), 23-34.