Understanding the ‘Supply Side’ in International Business Bribery and

Special issue call for papers from critical perspectives on international

*Submission Deadline*: 31 December 2017

*Guest Editors*

Mo Yamin, Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of
Manchester, UK

Byung Il Park, College of Business, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies,
South Korea

Yong Kyu Lew, College of Business, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies,
South Korea

*Purpose and Research Questions*

In the dominant international business (IB) narrative on corruption, the
tacit and rarely challenged assumption is that governments, particularly
those in developing countries and emerging economies, are the instigators
of corruption to which multinational corporations (MNCs) may have to
respond (Habib and Zurawicki, 2002; Rodriguez, Uhlenbruck and Eden,
2005; Uhlenbruck,
Rodriguez, Doh and Eden, 2006; Brouthers, Yan and McNicol, 2008;
2006; 2008; Petrou and Thanos, 2014). Thus, corruption is treated as
exogenous to the MNC and as a feature of the host country environment,
confronting the MNC’s decision makers with a mixture of risks and/or
opportunities. The focus is wholly on the impact of host country

corruption on the MNC (e.g., whether it reduces overall foreign direct
investment (FDI) commitments in the corrupt countries and how it may affect
the modalities of operations). The only dimension of corruption examined is
almost invariably bribes or kickbacks demanded by of

public officials and bureaucrats, who may provide ‘greasing’ services
smoothing the path of market entry.

The orthodox treatment of corruption in the IB literature has in recent
years been subject to extensive critical scrutiny by contributions to
critical perspectives on international business, Critical Perspectives on
Accounting, Review of International Political Economy and other outlets.

Not surprisingly, a key aspect of critical contributions has questioned the
total neglect in the orthodox approach of the ‘supply side’ of bribery and
corruption. While it is axiomatic that, as it were, ‘it takes two to tango’,
orthodox treatments exclusively focus on the demand side – the bribe taker –
and simply ignore the supply side residing in large corporations and
multinationals as instigators, facilitators and beneficiaries of often
large scale corruption (Murphy, 2011;

Otusanya, 2011; Sikka and Willmott, 2010; 2013; Sikka and Lehman, 2015).

Other critical contributions of a similar vein have focused more directly
on the role of tax havens, offshore jurisdictions and ‘special purpose
entities’ (OECD, 2001; UNCTAD, 2015; 2016) in channeling vast amounts of ‘
illicit’ financial outflows from less developed and emerging

economies (Kar and Spanjers, 2015). Murphy (2017, 169) has argued that tax
havens provide the ‘opportunity for corrupt funds to remain forever hidden’
while Christensen (2011, 178) has noted the use of tax havens for making
illicit political donations, embezzlement, fraud, and payment of bribes
adding that ‘it has become increasingly apparent that tax havens
provide a supply
side stimulus that encourages and enables grand scale corruption’.

The above observations suggest that corruption is not merely occasional ‘
grease’ but may have

become a well-funded ‘routine’ in IB dealings of MNCs. They also indicate
that recipients/beneficiaries are powerful, well connected elites (Rocha,
Brown and Cloke, 2011). Large scale bribes can hardly be (wholly) cash
based and in any case need ‘skilful’ accounting services (Neu, Everett,
Rahaman and Martinez, 2013) and often the secrecy and opacity that offshore
finance provides. This suggestion gains credence by a number of case
studies showing the use of shell companies and corrupt accounting practices
(Neu et al., 2013; Sikka and Lehman, 2015) and by numerous press reports on
corruption cases invariably indicating the deployment of a complex web of
financial transactions (e.g., Global Witness, 2016a; 2016b). Furthermore,
presumably, the bribe receiving elites in less developed and emerging
economies prefer (or even demand) that bribes are delivered in ways that
can be accessible in ‘desirable’ locations enabling e.g., the purchase of
luxury residences in European and other advanced country cities (Sherman,
2017) and easier access to specialist banking facilities serving global
wealthy elites (Beaverstock, Hall and Wainwright, 2013).

By contrast, bribes to lowly and often poorly-paid local officials who may
be in positions able to obstruct foreign market entry (e.g., by delaying
administrative permits) can presumably be cash payments which are likely to
be locally spent without needing to be routed via tax havens and offshore
jurisdictions. Thus, arguably, the notion of bribery as ‘grease payments’
does not capture the changing nature of much corruption in terms of its
scale and increasing dependence on ‘advanced’ financial services nor,
importantly, bribes as a component of illicit outflows from less developed
and emerging economies and hence the differential economic impact on host
countries of the different categories of bribe recipients (low- middle
level officials versus powerful elites) in less developed and emerging
economies (Chang, 2007, 164).

Against the above background, this special issue seeks
conceptual/theoretical and empirical contributions that enhance our
understanding of bribery and corruption in the contemporary context whereby
globalization and financialization have together significantly transformed
the structure and strategy of MNCs (Yamin and Ghauri, 2010; Morgan, 2014;
Coe, Lai and Wojick, 2014).

While corrupt money has always sought sanctuaries (such as numbered Swiss
banking accounts), an urgent issue for critical IB is exploring further how
the ascendency of finance in the governance of the MNC may have enhanced
corruption ‘tolerance’ amongst top decision makers in MNCs and the global
value chain that they effectively control. Arguably, an important element
of the ‘ownership advantage’ of MNCs may now stem from innovative effort in
perfecting MNCs’ financial architecture in which the tax havens, offshore
jurisdictions and Global Cities are critical nodes (Coe et al., 2014) and
function as mechanisms for hiding capital. Some progress in this direction
has already occurred, notably via the concept of the global wealth chains
(Seabrooke and Wigan, 2014; Sherman, 2017) but there is scope for further

A related issue is the disconnect between the literature on MNC corruption
and that on corporate social responsibility (CSR). An influential narrative
on CSR acknowledges that with globalization

the negative consequences of businesses have intensified and bemoans the
regulatory ‘vacuum’ with respect to corruption along with other societal
and environmental ills (Scherer and Palazzo, 2008). As Christensen (2011,
192) has noted, however, the use of tax havens ‘has scarcely registered on
the CSR debate’. A promising perspective is one that sees CSR as a context
within which there is (political) contestation between different legitimacy
claims (Levy, 2008; Levy and Kaplan, 2008). In the present context, the
emergence of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with a mission of
exposing and combating financial corruption, such as the Tax Justice
Network, Global Wittiness and Global Financial Integrity, is a positive
development both in terms of their own investigative efforts and also as
partners for academic research collaboration on corruption.

In these regards, this special issue seeks both theoretical and empirical
papers (both qualitative and case study based and quantitative studies)
that may address, but are not limited to, the following issues:

• Exploring the link between MNC financialization and corruption in
developed and less developed country contexts.

• Investigating the link between tax evasion and CSR and irresponsibility
with respect to MNC engendered corrupt practices.

• Studying the differential drivers and impacts of ‘stay at home’
corruption and capital flight corruption.

• Exploring the link between MNC corruption and illicit outflows from less
developed countries.

• Examining the link between the MNC’s secrecy infra-structure and large
scale bribery in particular industry/sectors and/or countries.

• Investigating the effectiveness of NGO’s exposure of MNC corruption on
the latter’s corruption behavior.

• Examining the drivers of ‘corruption tolerance’ – indicated by MNC top
managers’ willingness to pursues corrupt practices despite the anticipation
of exposure and consequent penalties.

• Studying the link between corruption propensity and the home country
institutions (varieties of capitalism and MNC corruption propensities).

Submission Process and Deadlines

Submission Instructions

The deadline for submissions is 31st December, 2017. For more information
on critical perspectives on international business, including style
guidelines, please visit the journal’s website at:

All submissions will be subject to the regular blind peer review process of
critical perspectives on international business. Guest editors are seeking
reviewers for this issue - please contact the guest editors to either
volunteer or nominate a reviewer.


Beaverstock, J. V., Hall, S. and Wainwright, T. (2013), “Servicing the
super-rich: New financial elites and the rise of the private wealth
management retail ecology”, Regional Studies, Vol. 47 No. 6, pp. 834-849.

Brouthers, L. E., Yan, G. and McNicol J. P. (2008), “Corruption and market
attractiveness influences on different types of FDI”, Strategic Management
Journal, Vol. 29 No. 6, pp. 673-680.

Chang, H.-J. (2007), The bad Samaritans: The guilty secrets of rich nations
and the threat to global prosperity, RH Business Books, London.

Christensen, J. (2011), “The looting continues: Tax havens and corruption”,
critical perspectives on international business, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 177-196.

Coe, N., Lai, K. and Wojick, D. (2014), “Integrating finance into global
production networks”, Regional Studies. Vol. 48 No. 5, pp. 761-777.

Cuervo-Cazurra, A. (2006), “Who cares about corruption?”, Journal of
International Business Studies, Vol. 37 No.6, pp. 807-822.

Cuervo-Cazurra, A. (2008), “The effectiveness of laws against bribery abroad
”, Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 39 No. 4, pp. 634-651.

Global Witness. (2016a), London’s Alternative Investment Market shown up by
Liberian government bribery indictments, Available at:
[accessed on 18 April 2017].

Global Witness. (2016b), Bribery arrest over multi-billion dollar mining
rights and the UK's tax

havens, Available at:
[accessed on 19 April 2017].

Habib, M. and Zurawicki, L. (2002), “Corruption and foreign direct
investment”, Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 33 No. 2, pp.

Kar, D. and Spanjers, J. (2015), Illicit financial flows from developing
countries:2004-2013, Global Financial Integrity, Available at:
[accessed on 18 April, 2017].

Levy, D. (2008), “Political contestation in global production networks”,
Academy of Management Review, Vol. 33 No. 4, pp. 943-963.

Levy D. and Kaplan, R. (2008), “Corporate social responsibility and
theories of global governance: Strategic contestation in globl issue arena”,
in Crane A., Matten, D., McWilliams, A., Moon, J. and Siegel, D. S. (eds.)
The oxford handbook on corporate social responsibility, Oxford University
Press, Oxford, pp. 432-451.

Morgan, G. (2014), “Financialization and the multinational corporation”,
Transfer, Vol. 20, No 2, pp. 183–197.

Murphy, J. (2011), “Capitalism and transparency”, critical perspectives on
international business, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 125-141.

Murphy, R. (2017), Dirty secrets: How tax havens destroy the economy,
Verso, London.

Neu, D., Everett, J., Rahaman, A. and Martinez, D. (2013), “Accounting and
networks of corruption”, Accounting Organization and Society, Vol. 38 No.
6, pp. 505-524.

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illicit purposes, OECD, Paris.

Otusanya, O. (2011), “The role of multinational companies in tax evasion
and tax avoidance: The case of Nigeria”, critical perspectives on
accounting, Vol. 22, pp. 316-332.

Petrou, A. P. and Thanos, I. C. (2014), “The “grabbing hand” or the “helping
hand” view of corruption: Evidence from bank foreign market entries”,
Journal of World Business, Vol. 49 No. 3, pp. 444-454.

Rocha, J. L., Brown, E. and Cloke, J. (2011), “Of legitimate and
illegitimate corruption: Bankruptcies in Nicaragua”, critical perspectives
on international business, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 159-176.

Rodriguez, P., Uhlenbruck, K. and Eden, L. (2005), “Government corruption
and the entry strategies of multinationals”, Academy of Management Review,
Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 383-396.

Scherer, A. and Palazzo, G. (2008), “Globalization and corporate social
responsibility”, in Crane, A., Matten, D., McWilliams, A., Moon, J. and
Siegel, D. S. (eds.) The oxford handbook on corporate social
responsibility, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 413-431.

Seabrook, L. and Wigan, D. (2014), “Global wealth chains in the
international political economy”, Review of International Political
Economy, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 257-263.

Sherman, J. (2017), “Illicit global wealth chains after the financial
crisis: micro-states and an unusual suspect”, Review of International
Political Economy, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 30-55.

Sikka, P. and Willmott, H. (2010), “The dark side of transfer pricing – its
role in tax avoidance and wealth retentiveness”, critical perspectives on
accounting, Vol. 21, pp. 342-356.

Sikka, P. and Willmott, H. (2013), “The tax avoidance industry: Accounting
firms on the make”, critical perspectives on international business, Vol. 9
No. 4, pp. 415-443.

Sikka, P. and Lehman, G. (2015), “The supply-side of corruption and limits
to preventing corruption within government procurement and constructing
ethical subjects”, critical perspectives on accounting, Vol. 28, pp. 62-70.

Uhlenbruck, K., Rodriguez, P., Doh, J. and Eden, L. (2006), “The impact of
corruption on entry strategy: Evidence from telecommunication projects in
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corporation, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, pp. 125-137.

*Mo Yamin *is a Professor of International Business at the Alliance
Manchester Business School, the University of Manchester, UK. He received
his PhD in Economics from the University of Manchester. His research focus
is on multinational enterprises. His contributions include: a reassessment
of Hymer’s influence on multinational enterprise theory; subsidiary
knowledge creation and transfer in multinationals; reliance on online media
in their internationalization process; and the impact of R&D cooperation
strategies by foreign subsidiaries multinationals on economic development.
His research has been published in journals including Journal of
International Business Studies, International Business Review, Journal of
World Business, Long Range Planning, Management International Review, and
Asian Business & Management, among others. He has recently handled special
issues on the topic of ‘rising powers’ for critical perspectives on
international business and International Business Review.

*Byung Il Park *is currently a Professor in International Business at the
College of Business, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in South Korea.
His research currently focuses on MNC strategy, and corporate social
responsibility of MNCs and MNC corruptions. He has published in such
journals as the Journal of World Business, Management International Review,
International Business Review, Journal of International Management,
International Marketing Review, Corporate Governance: an International
Review and Asia Pacific Journal of Management. In addition, he is
Editor-in-Chief of ‘International Journal of Multinational Corporation
Strategy’ and has also handled special issues for International Marketing
Review, Thunderbird International Business Review, Multinational Business
Review, Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, and European Journal
of International Management.

*Yong Kyu Lew *is an Associate Professor of International Business at
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, South Korea. He completed his
PhD at Manchester Business School of the University of Manchester, UK.
Previously he held faculty positions at the University of Hull and the
University of Manchester in the UK. His research interests include
alliances, institutions and innovations, and economic and social
consequences of FDI. His recent work has appeared in Journal of
International Business Studies, Long Range Planning, Global Strategy
Journal, International Business Review, critical perspectives on
international business, International Marketing Review, R&D Management, and
Industry and Innovation, among others. He sits on the editorial boards of
Multinational Business Review and International Journal of Multinational
Corporation Strategy. He is handling a special issue for International
Studies of Management & Organization.


Dr. Byung Il Park

Professor of International Business
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
College of Business
Tel: +82-2-2173-3193
Mobile: +82-10-4157-3532
Personal Homepage:

Editor in Chief: International Journal of Multinational Corporation Strategy

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