Bribe Taking Acceptability and Bribe Payment Among Thai Organizational Employees: The Mediating Effect of Reciprocity Obligation


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Abstract

Thai people may pay bribes because they view bribe-taking by government officials as being acceptable and bribe-payment as an exchange for benefits received. We hypothesized a relationship of bribe-taking acceptability to bribe-payment, and that the relationship was mediated by reciprocity obligation. In a study of 385 Thai organizational employees, bribe-taking acceptability was operationally defined as the payers’ acceptability of the bribe takers’ action, reciprocity obligation as the payers’ view of bribe-payment as an exchange for benefits, and bribe-payment as the tendency to pay a bribe. Overall, participants thought that bribe-taking was slightly acceptable and they somewhat agreed that bribe-payment was a reciprocal obligation. Regression analysis with bootstrapping was used to test the mediation of reciprocity obligation on the relationship of bribe-taking acceptability to bribe-payment. Results supported our hypothesis: the indirect effect of bribe-taking acceptability to bribe-payment through reciprocity obligation was significant. Thai bribe payers need to change their perception and regard bribe-taking as unacceptable and their bribe-payment as corruption.

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