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Cross-Country Perceptions Of Corruption

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Autor: 24  •  June 8, 2011  •  2,859 Words (12 Pages)  •  568 Views

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Cross-country perceptions of corruption:

Effects of culture, economics and bureaucracy


Nowadays there is widely spread view that corruption has become one of the most critical global and ethical problems. There are a lot of theories and empirical research that are objectively addressing the problem of corruption which has grown considerably in recent years. Five distinct countries where chosen such as India, China, Russia, Taiwan, and Saudi Arabia.

The purpose of this research is to explore reasons of high corruption in these countries. The factors such as culture, economic adversity and bureaucracy are considered to derive the influence of these factors in perception of people in those countries. Consequently, the relationship between corruption and the factors mentioned above has been established to certain extent, people of these countries did identify corruption as omnipresent in the whole system. However, they did feel that corruption slows down economic development and has increased inequitable distribution of resources that belong to commons.

The research proposes that the existed level of corruption in these countries is the result of their economic condition, bureaucracy and culture. Moreover, corruption is part of the system but it is not necessarily to be preserved as a part of the culture.

Research questions

1) Give your own idea of corruption in business? What are your thoughts and feelings about corruption?

2) What is level of corruption in your country and which industry is most affected by it and why?

3) What are the reasons of the existence of corruption?

4) Imagine society without corruption.

5) Scenario: Frank has opened a new chocolate business. He imported high quality chocolate. He had a major problem at the customs point where he has been requested by the customs officials to complete tedious amount of paper work which my take couple of days to finish. By the time he finishes, the chocolate stock will be melted and destroyed. He recognized that he will not be able to complete all requirements within the required time as many of them were challenging and not reasonable. Frank met Brian, whom he knows from his school time who suggested him to get his goods cleared through customs with the aid of an agent and assured him that the turnaround time will be reduced. Using agent means that Frank should give some money away to the customs official but not in direct way.

Please suggest Frank, if he should follow Brian's advice or not. Why?

A brief theoretical discussion on corruption

Definition of corruption is vague and covers no less than sixty acts that qualify as corruption for instance it might include "treason", "conflicts of interest" or "embezzlement" (Caiden et al in Everett & Neu, 2006).

As per Webster Dictionary, corruption is bribery or similar dishonest dealings.

The definition of corruption has different meaning for different cultures and individuals. For example, bribery and political favouritism can be considered as corruption in one country while to some it may be the acceptable business norm (Davis & Ruhe, 2003).

It has been agreed by many scholars that corruption robs country of its resources and slows down its development (Davis & Ruhe, 2003; Pellegrin & Gerlagh, 2006; Everett & Neu, 2006).

Methodology of research

This poster is the reflection of the in-depth research conducted on the basis of 50 interviews. Each member represented its country Ð'- namely, Russia, India, China, Taiwan and Saudi Arabia Ð'- and was given a task to question at least 10 people from the same cultural background.

The following objective was developed: to know the reasons of high corruption in these countries based on people's perceptions. Three factors such as culture, bureaucracy and economic adversity are considered to be the main reasons for corruption.

In order to obtain the data the list of 5 questions were prepared including semi-structured, open-ended, scenario and hypothetical questions. 50% of the interviews were conducted face to face, while the rest of the interviewees have to be contacted via email or on phone. The sample of candidates was randomly selected.

The following step was the analysis of the data obtained in order to identify key findings. Further, in order to support the key findings, they were confronted with related literature.

Key findings

Idea of corruption

From the analysis of the definition and the personal idea of corruption expressed by the interviewees from different cultural background, the similar understanding was observed. However, there was certain uniqueness in the concept, such as in India, people recognise the failure of duty as corruption. In Saudi Arabia, corruption is described as violation of rules and regulations, while Chinese associate it mostly with abuse of power. In Russia, corruption is closely interrelated with government and in Taiwan, bribery is considered as the main type of corruption.

Level of corruption

Prior to the analysis, the position of all of the five countries based on their corruption level has been established through Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) in order to compare the interviewees' perceptions with the given statistics (Transparency International, 2007).

In particular, the level of corruption in China (CPI 72), India (CPI 72) and Russia (143) was identified as high, high and very high respectively and taking a commonplace as in business as in everyday life of people. However, the perceptions of Taiwanese and Saudi Arabian interviewers are seemed to be controversial. In other words, although the CPI of Taiwan is 34, people tend to estimate the level higher than it is. In contrast, in Saudi Arabia, the level of corruption was identified as medium, while CPI of 79 proves it to be even higher than in India (72) and China (72).

The results of the research have presented that, mostly, people are aware of the situation with corruption in their country and, moreover, were amazingly realistic to establish its levels which turned out to be relatively fair in comparison with the statistics.



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