The Chinese government is making unprecedented efforts to curb corruption resulting in several high-profile prosecutions involving local and foreign businesses. Accordingly, we examined the influence of national culture on the intolerance of bribery, based on the premise that bribery is more intolerable when it is committed by the actor seen as more agentic in a given culture. As predicted, Studies 1a, 1b, and 2 found that the Chinese were more intolerant of organizational bribery than individual bribery, whereas just the opposite was true among Americans. Further supporting our reasoning, Study 2 showed that these cross-cultural differences were mediated by participants' tendencies to make internal attributions for the bribe payers' behavior. Study 3 found that when Chinese or American culture was primed, bicultural participants showed analogous reactions, but only when they believed their two cultural identities to be compatible (rather than conflicting) with each other. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Liu, Z., X.X. Liu, Ying-Yi Hong, Joel Brockner, K. Tam, and Y. Li. "Is individual bribery or organizational bribery more intolerable in China (versus in the United States)? Advancing theory on the perception of corrupt acts." Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 143 (November 2017): 111-128.
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