Type: School event

Accepting corruption: What role do Machiavellianism and rationalization play?


Aram Simonyan, International Scientific Educational Center, National Academy of Sciences, Armenia

Date & time

Sep 10, 2018, 11:30 am-1:00 pm EDT

Despite the increasing number of anti-corruption campaigns, corruption is still a considerable challenge in many countries around the globe. We examine the link between personal characteristics and the propensity to accept corrupt behavior. In particular, we aim at illuminating how Machiavellianism and rationalization are linked to the attitude of a person towards corrupt practices. The empirical analysis is based on the responses of 174 internationally active business professionals. As expected, the results indicate that professionals with high levels of Machiavellian traits seem to be more likely to accept corrupt behavior than those low in Machiavellian orientation. However, we find that a person's ability to rationalize corruption has a stronger link to the likelihood to accept behavior than Machiavellianism. From these results, we offer avenues for futher research and implications for practitioners.

Aram Simonyan is an associate professor of economics, and vice head of the Chair of Economics and Management at the International Scientific Educational Centre of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia. His research focuses on international economic relations, corruption, institutional economics and culture, and entrepreneurship. He has been a guest researcher at the University of Trier and the University of Siegen, both in Germany. Aram has also held financial positions at the Armenian Air Traffic Services and “Norq” Information Analytical Centre. Professor Simonyan will spend four weeks at U-M in September 2018, working on a project entitled “The Role of Entrepreneurial Culture and Norms in Accepting Corruption” in collaboration with John Ciorciari, associate professor of public policy.