The Airbus bribery scandal: A collective myopia perspective

Boakye, Derrick and Siaw, Daniel and Sarpong, David (2022) The Airbus bribery scandal: A collective myopia perspective. European Management Review, 19 (4). pp. 654-670. ISSN 1740-4754

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Drawing on collective myopia as a lens, we explore the infamous Airbus bribery scandal to show how the executives of the global aircraft manufacturer, through their actions and behaviours, institutionalised the payment of bribes to secure contracts. Data for the inquiry consist of publicly available court-approved documents, company website and internal emails, and newspaper articles on the scandal. Unpacking the bribery scheme operated by Airbus, we found that bribing of foreign government officials and airline executives to secure contracts was part and parcel of the firm's organising strategy. In this regard, the organising practices of Airbus actively encouraged employees to break its own bribery compliance policies which they employed as smokescreens to cover their illegal activities. Building on our findings, we developed a collective myopic-bribery framework outlining how the collective myopia in organising drove the bribery activities at Airbus. The implications of the findings for theory and practice are outlined.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
15 February 2022Accepted
2 March 2022Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Airbus, bribery, collective myopia, organising practices, scandals
Subjects: CAH17 - business and management > CAH17-01 - business and management > CAH17-01-04 - management studies
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > Birmingham City Business School
Depositing User: Gemma Tonks
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2023 10:22
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2023 10:22

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