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Corporate ethics: an end to the rhetorical interpretations of an endemic corruption

Ben Tran (Doctoral Candidate at the Marshall Goldsmith School of Management, Alliant International University, San Francisco, California, USA.)

Social Responsibility Journal

ISSN: 1747-1117

Article publication date: 7 March 2008




Crime, fraud, and corruption, are all nouns that pertain to the act of deception that depicts an intention to increase an opportunity in one's favor in an unlawful manner that pertains to an organization's interest and goals. Such offenses are numerous and quite costly and are now a commonplace criminal behavior within corporations. Motivations and purposes for corruption may be subjective but the legality of corruption is not. Thus, the rhetorical interpretations of corruption may be analyzed through two distinctive paradigms, the social behavioral science paradigm and the legality paradigm. This paper seeks to address this issue.


Court cases were analyzed, 70 major American corporations, in addition to a study of the largest industrial firms focused upon a two‐year period.


Based on the above samples, it was found that corporate corruptions are extremely common, but taboo to admit. The limitations to this study are accessibility, participants, and whistle‐blowers.


Implementing organizational guidelines (OG) is one appropriate and objective method in addressing corporate corruption and to confirm corporate compliance. While implementing the OG is objective, the process of implementing the OG is subjective. Subjectivity derives from opportunistic interpretations of the imperfect OG. Objective interpretation and objective implementation of the OG will confirm corporate compliance, and it is the CEO's responsibility to oversee this process.



Tran, B. (2008), "Corporate ethics: an end to the rhetorical interpretations of an endemic corruption", Social Responsibility Journal, Vol. 4 No. 1/2, pp. 63-81.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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