Information campaigns in anti-corruption

Cows in South Sudan
Controlling Cattle in South Sudan

In anti-corruption workshops I regularly have participants go through the exercise of identifying what would be necessary to destroy a group – to cause a group to decay to the point of failure. Invariably, the participants will include control of communications as a method of creating decay of the group. You can see this play out in larger contexts involving rebellion.  South Sudan is facing exactly such a problem now.

Here is a related article about the its inability to maintain group identity and coherence.


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.

Continue reading “How to Strengthen Corruption Prevention Through Mid-Level Management”

Anti-Corruption and Leadership

Participation by Brian Pinkowski in the 7th Pan African Summit on Modernization of the Public Sector.
Participation by Brian Pinkowski in the 7th Pan African Summit on Modernization of the Public Sector.

We have all heard it – the fish rots from the head down.  And true enough the remedy for corruption requires attention on building a leadership class that provides role models for integrity and character.

But it’s important to know that we aren’t starting at “zero” with this effort. Continue reading “Anti-Corruption and Leadership”

FCPA Not Well Developed???

FCPA not well developed???  B. Pinkowski
FCPA not well developed??? B. Pinkowski

Fighting corruption is tough. But succeeding in the international markets is tougher.  Particularly when well-intentioned laws in one country may attempt to change the operating culture for business across other countries. The FCPA is one of those well-intentioned laws.

We have good people in the US Government working to enforce the FCPA and generally create the boundaries that define an ethical working environment for business.  Continue reading “FCPA Not Well Developed???”

Our Expectations Create Corruption in Government?

Our expectations help create results.  We know this from life. Thus, it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that researchers at Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania have confirmed expectations that people that apply for government jobs are . . . not up to standards.

The study, referenced here, found that college students who cheat are more likely to want government jobs – in India.

Such a criticism is simply not fair, but worth discussing. Continue reading “Our Expectations Create Corruption in Government?”

Is Nepotism Really Criminal?

Nepotism and the Alien - but I have a good CV.
Nepotism and the Alien – but I have a good CV.

I’ve been having wrestling with the issue of Nepotism and its rational role in organizations and politics for some time.  Most recently I have been having a good dialogue with a colleague about the problems arising from criminalizing nepotism.

His comment:

“I cannot say that whether Nepotism is a crime or not but definitely it brings decline in the value system while hiring is done in government, quasi government, public or private sector. As a result the quality of human resource is compromised & principle of “right person for the right job” is defied. It also deprive competent people of the employment opportunity. Normally such appointments are done at senior positions & people already working at such places aspiring for these positions are denied the right to vertical mobility within the organization which demotivate them thus resulting in effected performance.”

My colleague is right, no doubt.  Nepotism can certainly be destructive, and places (imaginary) loyalty to individuals over organizational effectiveness.

I have written a few things that look at that side of the issue:

1.  Hiring and the Seeds of Organizational Corruption.

2.  Bad HR Practices Feed Corruption.

3.  and Favoritism and the Alien.

Favoritism and the Alien is my favorite.

While I am no apologist for nepotism and its destructive results, I can see both sides of the problem and, like the rest of the world, am struggling to find a responsible policy pathway.

However, I am clear that criminalizing all forms of poor choices is not the pathway to wisdom.

Brian Pinkowski

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The Organic Nature of Corruption

Aspen and conifer forests competing for survival.  Brian Pinkowski
Aspen and conifer forests competing for survival. Brian Pinkowski

Governments and Nations Fail from Corruption.  Even the strongest and least corrupt of nations struggles with the downward pull of destructive forces arising from.  No matter if the corruption comes from internal and external causes – it’s always there, under the surface. (What the U.S. Government Shutdown Teaches Us About Organizational Corruption.)

When governments fall, it is the corrupt organizations and networks that expand fastest for the simple reason that they are best organized to respond to the survival needs of the community. Continue reading “The Organic Nature of Corruption”