Transparency to reduce corruption?

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2009-02
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Corruption within the private sector has often not been dealt with in Brazil. Organizations may find corrupt acts in its operations or practices, but specific concepts and programs to avoid them are neither concrete nor clear. Some Brazilian stockholders have become aware of the risks involved in unethical procedures and are adopting the Best Practices of Corporate Governance initiative. International agencies have intensively supported organizations and governments in an effort to define policies that inhibit illegal or corrupt cultural habits throughout the world, but Brazilian practitioners show insufficient response. Skepticism may indicate a lack of understanding about how an ethical leadership can guide employees, setting high standards for the organizational culture and climate, clearly defining limits of correct behavior, and creating appropriate codes of ethics. Transparency still has to be discovered as a significant tool to encourage professionalism in performance and reporting of data in Brazilian companies. In this article, we analyze the ethical behavior of the purchasing department of a multinational company in its host country, Brazil. It focuses specifically on the supplier-buyer relationship. The results indicate that despite the negative reputation Brazilians have in business ethics, a company can still develop a positive and ethical relationship with its stakeholders. Communication, transparency, compliance with the company's code of conduct as well as the supplier's awareness of the buyer's code of conduct are the factors which influence the supplier-buyer relationship. Transparency can be used as a tool to reduce corruption, thereby increasing ethical behavior and company image. Good ethical behavior can help to build up a company's image.


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