IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/sae/jodeso/v32y2016i1p17-43.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Understanding the Deep Roots of Success in Effective Civil Services

Author

Listed:
  • Anil Hira
  • Kai Shiao

Abstract

As discussed in the preface to this edition, there are three cases in the developing world which stand out in regard to corruption: Singapore, Hong Kong, and Chile. While all have had differing rates of economic growth and their own particular struggles with governance, they are the only consistently high performers over long periods of time. To better understand the roots of their success, this article compares the three cases with two other cases with perennial issues of corruption, Nigeria and Paraguay. Our analysis is organized around three basic categories. The first is to examine the personnel systems of each civil service and to see how reforms in recruitment and promotion—the main focus of aid agencies—have reduced corruption. The second is to examine sanctions for corruption in order to understand how they become real rather than just rhetorical. Civil service reform efforts so far have focused on the first two. Using the most similar/different comparative approach, we conducted field research in the three success cases and secondary research in all five. This in itself is revealing as comparing Chile to the East Asian cases has not been done before. We find similarities among the success and failures of the first two categories. Therefore, we must dismiss them as having limited effectiveness. Given such conditions are necessary but insufficient, we turn to a third category, namely the culture around civil services, finding there are clear contrasts in the culture of success and failure cases. Moreover, all three of the former countries were at one time rife with corruption, thus raising the key question of how they changed. If there are cultural inflection points that can be identified that line up with the transformation of dishonesty to honesty in our three success cases, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Chile, and cultural sticking points in the other cases, we can explain the failure of formal reform efforts. This suggests we need a new research agenda on cultural change as a part of future reform efforts.

Suggested Citation

  • Anil Hira & Kai Shiao, 2016. "Understanding the Deep Roots of Success in Effective Civil Services," Journal of Developing Societies, , vol. 32(1), pages 17-43, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jodeso:v:32:y:2016:i:1:p:17-43
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://jds.sagepub.com/content/32/1/17.abstract
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:wdevel:v:105:y:2018:i:c:p:171-188 is not listed on IDEAS

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:jodeso:v:32:y:2016:i:1:p:17-43. See general 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: (SAGE Publications). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.