How to Strengthen Corruption Prevention Through Mid-Level Management

Politicians Talk About Corruption – Brian Pinkowski
Leadership in Anti-Corruption
Leadership in Anti-Corruption

Leadership sets the example.

It’s as true in the leadership of Nations and corporations as it is in the leadership of small government departments.

Where leadership abuses or misuses the authority of their position, the entire organization decays beneath them.

Where a new executive wants to create positive change in an organization, he or she will need to start by strengthening the management lines – strengthening the mid-level management.  In the private sector this is often referred to as the Tone-At-The-Top.

At a minimum, the new executive will want an organization that can carry out his or her intentions.

Here are a few indicators that can be used by senior executives to spot parts of an organization that require attention and correction.

They all fall under the title – The Empty Chair. 

Seldom in the Office.   A common sign of organizational decay in government is when the manager is seldom seen in his office.  Despite proclamations about business on this or that, the manager is simply not at his desk or in the office.    This is happens in developing and developed countries.

Staff and Others Can’t Schedule Meetings. The staff requests meetings but the manager is not available.

I’m Too Busy.  Sometimes a manager will be in the office, but unavailable to direct or manage staff.  The key indicator is whether this manager and his or her team is producing something.  If not, there is a good chance that he’s in the office, but playing on the computer or politics or doing  many other things instead of carrying out their leadership roles.

Politics.  Sometimes a manager is busy on political matters.  This happens a great deal in developing countries, where the government managers may be given a job, but expected to fulfill their political responsibilities ahead of their government responsibilities.

Unwillingness to collect or share data about productivity.  Where a manager is not fulfilling his or her responsibilities in leading an organization, they are often reluctant to implement common data collection mechanisms.  (See 7 Key Metrics for Measuring Progress in the Fight Against Corruption – Rule of Law)

The Empty Chair is discussed in New-Tools-For-Fighting-Corruption-in-Organizations.

Where an enthusiastic leader comes into an organization with hopes of leading an organization to carry out his or her intentions, the first step must be to see if the management of the organization is actually in place.

The Empty Chair is a relatively common problem, and relatively common to correct when an executive is interested in creating an organization that can carry out his or her intentions.

Brian J. Pinkowski

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2 Replies to “How to Strengthen Corruption Prevention Through Mid-Level Management”

  1. Very concise indeed Mr. Brian, I must add some common indicators, “No question attitude”, Terms like I have said it all. I am appointed by president or Public service and you have no authority to question me, I order you pay this and not that, I am the final person or you risk dismisal. You have no experience I had led this institution or similar for 50 yrs are indicators of top management level corruption with low productivity. If middle management can be empowered to challenge the above top management sentiments, they are at better position to reduce corruption.
    Appeasement attitute indicator that “I only obey those above me who can determine my fade” not those below me.
    Patronizing: We are the majoirty in this institution or corporation and by majoirty democracy we are right and always must be. All failures or not ours and blamed on minority or the weak and all successes are ours because we are the major stakeholders.” immensely hampers productivity especially when such are entertained by the top management.

    Lastly denial of the truth especially when evidence are clear that there is corruption commited out of conspiracy and top management involved and failed to take action leave the lower level discourage and reactive. they will then resourt to rationalization of production failure using blame game tactics.

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