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Modeling the impact of organization structure and whistle-blowers on intra-organizational corruption contagion

Maziar Nekovee and Jonathan Pinto

Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 2019, vol. 522, issue C, 339-349

Abstract: We complement the rich conceptual work on organizational corruption by quantitatively modeling the spread of corruption within organizations. We systematically vary four organizational culture-related parameters, i.e., organization structure, location of bad apples, employees’ propensity to become corrupted (“corruption probability”), and number of whistle-blowers. Our simulation studies find that in organizations with flatter structures, corruption permeates the organization at a lower threshold value of corruption probability compared to those with taller structures. However, the final proportion of corrupted individuals is higher in the latter as compared to the former. Also, we find that for a 1,000-strong organization, 5% of the workforce is a critical threshold in terms of the number of whistle-blowers needed to constrain the spread of corruption, and if this number is around 25%, the corruption contagion is negligible. Implications of our results are discussed.

Keywords: Intra-organizational corruption; Contagion; Mathematical model; Simulation study; Organization structure; Organizational networks; Whistle-blowing; Critical threshold (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:522:y:2019:i:c:p:339-349