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Of Great Vampire Squids and Jamming Blood Funnels: A Socially Constructed and Historically Situated Perspective on Organizational Corruption

Journal of Management Inquiry

Published online on


In this essay, I propose an eventful way to approach corruption as socially constructed and historically situated. First, I describe how deep (socially constructed) and long (processual, historical) perspectives on corruption have been less examined. Then, I build an approach to understanding organizational corruption as a constructed event embedded in scenario, utilizing concepts from history, cultural studies, and the interactionist tradition in sociology. To offer scholars a way to articulate this eventful conception of organizational corruption and inform how it might be approached through interpretive textual reading and narrative, I draw in an example of a highly publicized accusation of corruption by the financial services firm Goldman Sachs. In closing, I present implications for theory building and research.