Corruption is an opportunistic crime in the sense that it involves people not adhering to general business ethics and instead, choosing other, more unethical pathways to gaining an advantage such as the receipt of money for more services provided or an advantage to someone who doesn’t generally deserve it (Transparency International, 2016). Corruption is also unique in the sense that it tests general ethical business laws and draws a fine line between behaviors which are accepted on a daily basis and those that could be justified or judged based on the person and a certain level of subjectivity overall.
Corruption is sometimes defined as “Private Gain in exchange for a public good” and as such, people who conduct or carry out corrupt activities have a certain intention and there is always a cause for why they have chosen to conduct corrupt activities rather than those that can be perceived as being highly ethical and in accordance with business policies and also governmental regulations (Transparency International, 2016).
As such, there are a number of causes behind corrupt activity and which will firstly be analyzed in this paper. The first major cause of corrupt activity is greed and the willingness to gain more money for a personal advantage. It is not surprising that people who are corrupt are generally those in senior management or leadership positions and despite being paid handsomely, are greedy enough to want to pursue more money and the only way of doing this is to become corrupt (TJN, 2016). For example, corrupt senior managers in private enterprise are paid millions of dollars but to further support their lavish lifestyles, they need to make more and the only way to make more is to become corrupt and accept bribes and money from others to excel or to be provided with an extra pay check or bonus overall. Additionally, corruption stems from the greed of people who may not be in such senior positions and the only way they can receive a promotion or get to a desired position is through corruption. For example, individuals who pay others for promotions or higher salaries or through certain services are those who may not be the most proficient or competent at their professions and the only way to excel within an organization is to stop obeying their ethical laws and regulations (TJN, 2016).
Other causes of corruption focus on bankruptcy, or organizations that require additional funding. Government based organizations may also consider corruption as a means to pay their staff more and to provide employees with greater incentives to work harder and remain loyal to the particular organization overall. (Transparency International, 2016). Furthermore, the implementation of strict and heavily regulated governmental laws are also cause for corruption as they prevent people from excelling in certain circumstances and can also restrict flexibility in the workplace. For many, the only way of being more flexible and also more unethical is through the provision of corrupt activities.
This leads towards an extended focus on why corruption is more prominent in nations with greater governmental regulations. For example, in Australia, there have been a number of senate inquiries into corruption by government officials and politicians. (TJN, 2016). Despite having a sense of entitlement and greed as previously stipulated in this paper, these governmental officials work within a very fine line with respect to what they can do and how they can spend governmental money without being caught or let go altogether. It has been determined that nations with tighter governmental restrictions and regulations do not provide employees with the flexibility to make changes and improvements to the nation and their respective workplace. It seems that these governmental regulations are conservative in nature and highly restrictive to the point where governmental bodies do not have the autonomy to literally do anything except follow normal practices (TJN, 2016). Furthermore, governmental bodies must follow the president or prime minister and their agenda and their agenda may differ widely from the views and perspectives of certain governmental bodies and individuals. Additionally, governmental restrictions may result in lower pay grades and less bonuses for hard work and therefore greater incentive for employees to commit corrupt activities to gain a greater advantage and essentially more money to support either their families or lifestyles overall (Transparency International, 2016).
There is also the matter of when and where people draw the line with respect to accepting gifts and bribes and also determining whether these two things are happening to them within the workplace. Gifts can be regarded as being perfectly acceptable as long as the nature of the gift and its means of funding are approved by the organization as well as the regulatory body and their regulations (TJN, 2016). For example, a farewell gift for an employee should be funded by donations made by employees but it can also be funded by the organizational account as long as it pertains to organizational activity or a change that is occurring to the particular organization overall. The line is crossed if the gift, that is funded by the organization, is used to benefit the individual in such a way that doesn’t benefit the organization and instead, may bring detriment to the particular organization. For example, a gift of money to an individual from an organizational account without the organization knowing is corruption. The use of a bribe to convince someone to not adhere to organizational regulations or to simply do the wrong thing is also regarded as corruption. I personally believe that these perceptions and ideals about corrupt behavior should be globally accepted and not vary from nation to nation (Transparency International, 2016). These behaviors affect any nation regardless of its political aspects and structure. They all involve a person gaining from another and at the detriment of another such as an organization or principle body. Every nation consists of governmental organizations and corrupt behavior works in such a way that demeans and weakens the economy and structure of the particular nation overall.
Additionally, the nature of corruption is situational and may not occur in the same way in every nation worldwide. It is as proven before in this paper not acceptable regardless of the nature of the nation and its political construct. There are many situations, which may occur either simultaneously or in the same way regardless of its location (Transparency International, 2016). Bribes and the acceptance of gifts for personal gain and the detriment of another occurs worldwide and can not be confined to a certain nation or situation. It can be proven however that corrupt behavior is becoming smarter and more frugal in how it is distributed and conducted.
Official authorities find it more difficult to accept it now that it relies on technology and for people to be smart with how they manage accounts and distribute and justify the payment of certain amounts. Governmental bodies need to be more careful in how they define and develop regulations that prevent corrupt behavior as criminals and senior managers are finding loopholes and intelligent ways of gaining more money without the act being classified as corruption (TJN, 2016).
The prevention and management of corruption in the 21st century is a difficult matter for governments and organizations as a result of advancements in technology and how it is justified and defined. For many, the contribution of a gift or sum of money can be defined as a bonus to someone when really, it is a bribe for a certain incentive or benefit (TJN, 2016). The fine line between corruption and what is regarded as right is often abused and senior managers and leaders have the power and ability to perform corrupt behaviors without actually being caught or with little suspicion being raised. This leads many to believe that greater funding for more regulatory bodies may be the only way that corruption is stopped particularly throughout larger private organizations and governmental bodies as well. Harsher penalties for corruption should be enforced as a first incentive to discourage people from performing such an act. Jail time and hefty fines can be administered for corrupt behavior or even for acts, which result in corrupt behavior (Transparency International, 2016). For example, the decision of a manager to approve the payment of a sum of money and accept it as organizational funds should be punished with a hefty fine being administered to that manager as well as to the people receiving the unapproved funds.
Responsibility plays a major part of corruption also and people need to re-craft and redefine what responsibility is and whether someone should be given either more or less responsibility overall (TJN, 2016). For example, taking away responsibility from someone who has lost all trust from an organization’s point of view may be a viable way of preventing future corrupt deals and activity overall and this will save the organization potentially millions of dollars.
In conclusion, this paper has determined and argued that corruption needs to be swiftly managed and prevented currently and in the future. It doesn’t vary in its nature from nation to nation and should be regarded as a national crime with severe penalties such as fines and potentially jail time.
- TJN. (2016). Financial Secrecy Index. Tax Justice Network, Retrieved from http://www.financialsecrecyindex.com/ Accessed on 22nd April, 2016.
- Transparency International. (2016). Global Corruption Barometer 2013: Report. Transparency International, Retrieved from http://www.transparency.org/gcb2013/report Accessed on 22nd April, 2016.