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.


Is it Corruption if it’s Legal?

potbrainIn the USA, two states voted to legalize marijuana. There’s no serious argument that marijuana improves peoples’ intelligence, or makes them more physically competent, or improves their abilities to perform professional tasks.  Although the impact is physiologically different, like alcohol, people wanted to do it, and they voted to make it legal.

It is a frustrating truth that we all do things that are not necessarily in our best interests of the best interests of our families, communities and groups. Continue reading “Is it Corruption if it’s Legal?”

Organizational Development is Corruption Prevention

Brian in Morocco
Brian Pinkowski  in Morocco

The FIRST step in preventing corruption is developing capable organizations and people.

Where people are uncertain of their roles and purposes in any organization, corruption is inevitable.

International development runs into challenges where diplomatic relations trump concerns about corruption.   Continue reading “Organizational Development is Corruption Prevention”

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???”

Tales From The Wild: Traditional Law and Foreign Officials

Traditional or “Tribal Lands” can create a significant headache for mining companies and others natural resource companies in developing countries.

Where the law identifies the legitimacy of both modern constitutional government an customary law and land rights, it can be difficult to identify government officials for FCPA and Anti-Bribery Act purposes.

Imagine this situation – You have untangled the mysteries of identifying the legal process to obtain permits in a country.  And successfully gone through each step, successfully and legally navigating each of the opportunities for local government officials to hold up the process in exchange for some “compensation” or unexpected facilitation payment.

You’ve simultaneously worked out identities of the tribal leaders on the lands that own the surface rights, and made the appropriate corporate social responsibility arrangements.

Everyone seems happy.  Continue reading “Tales From The Wild: Traditional Law and Foreign Officials”

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”