Unethical Behaviour of Organisations from a Social Network Perspective. A Literature Review
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One of the distinctive features of contemporary organisations is their interconnectedness. Relationships between companies are usually analysed on the basis of social network relationships between them. The research question this article aims to answer concerns the influence of being part of an interorganisational network on the occurrence and consequences of unethical behaviour.This paper covers three main areas of research regarding this topic. Firstly, the role networks play in the initiation, evolution, and consequences of wrongdoings. The main problem taken into consideration in this part of the article is identifying network factors which increase and mitigate the propensity of organisations to deceive their partners. Two main types of such determinants include relational and structural factors. The first group usually involves features such as the strength of ties, the symmetry/asymmetry of ties, and the status of partners. The latter includes such variables as structural holes, centrality, density and the cohesiveness of the network. The second area covered in this article concerns how misconduct behaviours spread throughout the network of interorganisational ties. This phenomenon might resemble a social or emotional contagion occurring in social networks. The effects of unethical acts on the network are the main interest of the third part of this paper. Usually, the consequences of wrongdoing by one of the interconnected partners include a change in the quality of the related partners, modifications in the structure of the network, and an alteration of its prominence and cohesion. In conclusion, there are some suggestions for lines of inquiry in the area of unethical behaviour from the social network perspective in the future.