The Airbus bribery scandal: A collective myopia perspective

Derrick Boakye, Daniel Siaw, David Sarpong

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Drawing on collective myopia as a lens, we explore the infamous Airbus bribery scandal to show how the executives of the global aircraft manufacturer, through their actions and behaviours, institutionalised the payment of bribes to secure contracts. Data for the inquiry consist of publicly available court-approved documents, company website and internal emails, and newspaper articles on the scandal. Unpacking the bribery scheme operated by Airbus, we found that bribing of foreign government officials and airline executives to secure contracts was part and parcel of the firm's organising strategy. In this regard, the organising practices of Airbus actively encouraged employees to break its own bribery compliance policies which they employed as smokescreens to cover their illegal activities. Building on our findings, we developed a collective myopic-bribery framework outlining how the collective myopia in organising drove the bribery activities at Airbus. The implications of the findings for theory and practice are outlined.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)654-670
    Number of pages17
    JournalEuropean Management Review
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 2 Mar 2022


    • Airbus
    • bribery
    • collective myopia
    • organising practices
    • scandals


    Dive into the research topics of 'The Airbus bribery scandal: A collective myopia perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this