To pay or not to pay? Dynamic transparency and the fight against the mafia's extortionists

Antonino Vaccaro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents the results of the longitudinal study of Addiopizzo, a successful anti-bribery organization founded in Sicily in 2004. It analyzes how this organization has used information disclosure as a strategy to fight adverse environmental conditions and the immoral activities of the Sicilian Mafia. This article extends the business ethics and corporate social responsibility literature by showing how multi-level strategic information disclosure processes can help gain organizational legitimacy in adverse social environments and successfully fight against social resistance to change, low levels of moral imagination and attacks from criminal organizations. This article provides an additional contribution to the literature by linking the three research streams on corporate transparency, the fight against corruption, and organizational legitimacy. The results of this research also contribute to the special issue of the EBEN AC 2010, "Which values for which organizations", since it provides a unique example of an organization capable of spreading the values of social justice and honesty in a difficult social environment plagued by Mafia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-35
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • Corruption
  • Legitimacy
  • Transparency


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