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Title: Causal factors of corruption in construction project management : an overview
Authors: Owusu, EK 
Chan, APC 
Shan, M
Issue Date: Jun-2020
Source: Science and engineering ethics, June 2020, v. 25, no. 1, p. 1-31
Abstract: The development of efficient and strategic anti-corruption measures can be better achieved if a deeper understanding and identification of the causes of corruption are established. Over the past years, many studies have been devoted to the research of corruption in construction management (CM). This has resulted in a significant increase in the body of knowledge on the subject matter, including the causative factors triggering these corrupt practices. However, an apropos systematic assessment of both past and current studies on the subject matter which is needful for the future endeavor is lacking. Moreover, there is an absence of unified view of the causative factors of corruption identified in construction project management (CPM). This paper, therefore, presents a comprehensive review of the causes of corruption from selected articles in recognized construction management journals to address the mentioned gaps. A total number of 44 causes of corruption were identified from 37 publications and analyzed in terms of existing causal factors of corruption, annual trend of publications and the thematic categorization of the identified variables. The most identifiable causes were over close relationships, poor professional ethical standards, negative industrial and working conditions, negative role models and inadequate sanctions. A conceptual framework of causes of corruption was established, after categorizing the 44 variables into five unique categories. In descending order, the five constructs are Psychosocial-Specific Causes, Organizational-Specific Causes, Regulatory-Specific Causes, Project-Specific Causes and Statutory-Specific Causes. This study extends the current literature of corruption research in construction management and contributes to a deepened understanding of the causal instigators of corruption identified in CPM. The findings from this study provide valuable information and extended knowledge to industry practitioners and policymakers as well as anti-corruption agencies in the formulation and direction of anti-corruption measures. To corruption researchers in CM, this study is vital for further research.
Keywords: Corruption
Project management
Cultural dimensions
Publisher: Springer
Journal: Science and engineering ethics 
ISSN: 1353-3452
EISSN: 1471-5546
DOI: 10.1007/s11948-017-0002-4
Rights: © Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017
This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Science and engineering ethics. The final authenticated version is available online at:
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