The purpose of this study is to explore the regulatory framework in China and the extent to which Chinese multinationals have implemented and disclosed their anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) compliance practices. This is done against the backdrop of the evolving international ABC compliance standards.
This study is based on detailed reviews of the ABC compliance standards of international organizations; legislation passed by the USA, the UK and Chinese Governments; seven semi-structured interviews with leading experts in the field; and comparisons of ABC program disclosures of four Chinese with four best-in-class western multinational corporations.
A high level of convergence was found in the ABC standards published by the international organizations. Several positive features were found in the Chinese ABC regulatory frameworks but our findings indicate that there is minimal disclosure around ABC compliance program practices. This paper shows that a transparent disclosure would represent an easy win for Chinese multinational corporations and contribute to raising their reputations internationally.
While there are numerous studies in the law literature on ABC compliance standards and the extent to which they are effective in achieving their objectives, this is an emergent area in management research, to which our study makes a contribution. Future research could explore how other emerging economies are tackling this important issue.
By proactively adopting ABC compliance practices, corporations can seize the ethical high ground and build solid reputations with their stakeholders.
It is believed that this study is the first academic study that compares Chinese and international ABC standards.
This paper is based on the Master’s thesis of the first author, when she was a participant of the Masters Program in Anti-Corruption Studies (MACS) of the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA), Laxenburg, Austria. The second author acted as the thesis advisor. The authors would like to acknowledge the feedback received from the faculty and participants of the MACS program at IACA, as well as the generous research support received from the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS).
Schonfelder, K., Velamuri, S. and Liu, W. (2016), "Evolution of international and Chinese anti-bribery and corruption compliance programs", Corporate Governance, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp. 437-451. https://doi.org/10.1108/CG-07-2015-0097Download as .RIS
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