Ilitch School faculty published in business research journal

Mike Ilitch School of Business Associate Dean Toni Somers and Senior Lecturer of Management Sherilynn Perelli had a recent article published in the Journal of Business Research (JBR). JBR publishes articles that conduct or find empirical research and apply practical situations and theoretical findings to the reality of the business world. The article, “Why is bribery pervasive among firms in sub-Saharan African countries? Multi-industry empirical evidence of organizational isomorphism,” discusses the link between bribery in 12 sub-Saharan African countries and the phenomenon of organizational isomorphism.

Perelli and Somers’ co-authors are Nnaoke Ufere, James Gaskin and Richard Boland Jr.


Motivated by the prevalence and persistence of corruption in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) despite high-profile anti-corruption efforts, and by calls for more research on unethical organizational behavior by firms in Africa, we investigated the link between bribery in 12 SSA countries and the phenomenon of organizational isomorphism, long used to explain legitimate, but rarely, illegitimate firm practices. Analysis of 5989 SSA firms in three distinct industries known for high levels of bribery reveals direct positive relationships between bribery and its perception as frequently practiced in specific industries (“mimetic isomorphic effect”); institutional constraints on businesses (“coercive isomorphic effect”); and local market rivalry (“competitive isomorphic effect”). Institutional coercion is the strongest determinant of bribery, while imitation and competitive rivalry routinize the practice. However, the effect of isomorphic pressures on bribery practices varies across industries. Therefore, institutional redesigns, policy remediation and managerial actions to mitigate bribery must consider the cross industry variations.


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