Corruption in the South African construction industry: a thematic analysis of verbatim comments from survey participants
AbstractCorruption is a pervasive stain on the construction industry in many countries. South Africa is no exception. A questionnaire survey showed that corruption there is perceived to be widespread. Beyond the quantitative survey findings, thematic analysis was used to explore the verbatim comments offered by many survey participants. This analysis clarified the nature and extent of corruption more precisely and four predominant themes emerged: involvement in corruption, forms of corruption, factors that may give rise to corrupt activities, and the means of combating corruption. Public officials are thought to be actively involved in acts of corruption, particularly in the soliciting of bribes and in tender manipulation. Professional consultants and other actors in the construction supply chain are not above reproach. Forms of corruption centre largely on appointment and tender irregularities, and to a lesser extent on contract administration and closeout irregularities. Factors instrumental in corruption include the skills shortage within the industry, a perceived absence of deterrents and sanctions, and poor ethical standards. Procedural impediments, fear of victimization and personal attitudes all act as barriers to combating corruption. While confirming opportunity, pressure and self-justification as the three pillars of the Cressey ‘Fraud Triangle’ theory of corruption, the research findings suggest that a more dynamic interpretation of this model is advisable. In addressing corruption, at least in the public sector, improvements in procurement processes are needed along with shifts towards higher standards of ethical behaviour among public sector employees at all levels. Greater procurement process transparency (in both public and private sectors of the industry) would address the worst effects of undue political interference and nepotism. The South African construction industry (particularly its statutory professional councils and contractor affiliation bodies), together with public sector agencies and private sector client associations, should collaborate to adopt a more proactive stance against corruption, and be more engaged with detecting and reporting it.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Construction Management and Economics.
Volume (Year): 30 (2012)
Issue (Month): 10 (October)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/RCME20
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.