Corruption has become one of the most popular topics in the social scientific disciplines. However, there is a lack of interdisciplinary communication about corruption. Models developed by different academic disciplines are often isolated from each other. The purpose of this paper is to review several major approaches to corruption and draw them closer to each other. Most studies of corruption fall into three major categories: (i) rational-actor models where corruption is viewed as resulting from cost/benefit analysis of individual actors; (ii) structural models that focus on external forces that determine corruption; and (iii) relational models that emphasize social interactions and networks among corrupt actors. Focusing on actors’ behavior and the social context, this article explains corruption concepts taken from sociology, economics, organization studies, political science, social anthropology, and social psychology.
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