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How to Deal With Corruption in Your Business

Ian has a bachelor's degree in education and social sciences. How our bodies and brains are linked.

Hand shaking with euros (this a method of giving out bribe)

Hand shaking with euros (this a method of giving out bribe)


Ethical issues in a business is a critical area that needs to be booked into since it poses a big challenge to any business owner. Despite the many laws in an organization to ensure harmony among employees, there is a need to maintain ethical practices.
Ethical practices in an organization encompass a wide area as far as maintaining ethical standards is concerned. The goals of ethical issues in business include accommodating diversities within the organization, promoting employees' conduct through their integrity and trust, and having good conduct based on the rules and regulations.

To manage ethical issues in any organization, it's critical first to identify the possible unethical issues that might occur in the future, know the possible avenues that might result to their occurrence, the possible individuals that might lead to this issues occurring, and the possible ways of dealing with the issues. The main purpose of this precaution is to prevent possible issues before they even become an issue. The main ethical issue in a business is the issue of corruption.

Corruption is an ethical issue that has, for many, affected the operation and success of any given organization. Corruption comes In many forms, as I will be discussing in this paper. Despite the form that it comes with, no good comes out of it; organizations should therefore develop ways to ensure this issue is solved before it even becomes an issue.

Causes of corruption

Main causes of corruption

There are various causes as to why corruption occurs in businesses.

a) Greed

Greed for money and other hearts desires makes a person for engaging in corruption. People nowadays just thinking about how to become rich without minding any route that is taken.

b) Low level of democracy

Secondly, low levels of democracy, weak civil participation, and lack of transparency cause corruption as people have no freedom to say no to corruption.

c) Gender Inequality

Thirdly, gender inequality as well causes corruption. Poverty and the rate at which people want to get rich make them embezzle funds from anywhere.

d) Lack of Education

Low levels of education cause corruption. People want to reap where they have not sowed. People who lack qualifications and have the boss as a relative will get a job in a company leaving the qualified ones without the chance.

e) Lack of Enough Obligation

Lack of commitment by society is another cause of corruption. In case a person sees a corrupt person in society, no one can stand up and say or condemn that publicly.

Additional forms of corruption

Forms of Corruption

1. Bribery

The first form of corruption is bribery; this is defined as the receiving or offering something to get something or to be granted a favor. In modern days businesses and companies, before one gets a job to that place, should give someone something so that the position can be reserved. The more the bribe one pays, the higher the chances of getting a job. This is a form of corruption that has dominated the world's population. Many try to justify bribery though it is an unethical business issue. Bribery makes even those who do not deserve a position to get it while those with qualifications do not. This makes the company many times to perform less efficiently.

2. Misuse of office

The second form of corruption is the misuse of official positions. There is always a chief executive officer; the managing director and the general manager are in the best official seats. Some of these officials to issue the privilege through mistreating of employees because they are senior to them and making them do chores which are not related to the company but since the boss has said the subordinate is left with no option rather than doing it even though it is not coming from the heart. Some senor bosses go the extra mile to sleep with women, especially the vulnerable ones who are entirely looking for a job. They use their position to threaten the client that they may either get fired or lose the opportunity to serve in the company if they do not comply.

3. Buying voters

Another form of corruption is vote-buying. This is especially when it comes to election dates for those high topmost positions. Those positions, along with some interests which each and almost everyone wishes to get. With this notion and greed, people go to the electrolyte, and in most cases, money to elect them. They want to be elected not because of what they want to do for the company but because they have hidden agendas, such as making themselves rich. The people, on the other hand, they will elect them since they were given something though very temporary, they have no choice because they have agreed with the

4. Nepotism

Another form of corruption is nepotism. This is where people get favors not because they deserve, but because their relative is within the power. This has affected the businesses because a business enterprise is being turned into a family issue. Certain companies, almost, if not all, are related to the CEO of the company. These people are not there because they want to work for that company, but because that job has been secured to them even without their consent, they will go and be there even without the basic knowledge on how things are being operated. This has made many companies to fall and to make massive losses due to this kind of corruption.

How to mitigate corruption

In the recent past, different forums across the world have been formed to come up with possible ways of handling the issue. It has been a global pandemic with all nations trying to be more effective than others to deal with the situation. In business organizations, corruption has led to a massive loss of finances and ruining the organization's image. With this, many ways have been laid down to solve the snag. Below are two ways:

#1) Reformation of Administrative and Financial Entities

One of the means to solve corruption is through the reformation of administration and finance management. In the recent past, business owners have opted for this measure to endeavor to solve corruption in the corporate business environment.

Reforming financial management, which in most cases is the avenue through which corruption enters the organization, can be of great importance. For example, the board of directors ought to lay down well-defined methods on how the finance management and department carries its operations and the expected achievement in a particular period.

The managers need to liaise with the owners and the board to ensure transparency in all its activities. Such a larger extent will help in coming up with a finance management team that is uncorrupted and adheres to the organization's rules and regulations. Besides, through the reformation of finance, there is the disclosure of budget information. This disclosure ensures that all know every undertaking of the group hence thwarts wastage and misuse of resources. Through this method, corruption can be solved by most private and public companies (Kochan & Goodyear 2011).

#2) Use External Auditors

Another very effective and appropriate method of solving corruption is using external auditors rather than internal auditors. The external auditors are more competent when employed by a company merely because they do not have any enterprise attachments. To them, they are only interested in giving the best services for the company. For instance, the external auditors will look into the books of accounts and scrutinize every detail concerning the company's working.

They can tell the business's progress to the owner and if the company is following government regulations as per the rules and regulations. However, such may not be disclosed by internal auditors who are part of the employee because of the close link with the company or the need to satisfy and impress the board of directors. With the effectiveness brought about by the use of external auditors, many owners of both private and public businesses have now moved to the utilization of the external auditing agents as it is becoming more popular in the contemporary society.

How Does Corruption Manifest Itself?

Arguably, corruption in businesses manifests itself most when it comes to the process of recruitment. To deal with corruption in this context, there is a need for the company to clearly define the recruitment procedures and the anti-corruption policies that are to be followed.

• Through the Hiring Process

Through such, issues of hiring individuals in exchange for some cash or favoring some people in exchange for something in the future will end. For example, in many private and public businesses, the rate of corruption is alarming, and the primary cause, when investigated, is found to stem from the employees.

Additionally, the workers who are employed through these unaccepted ways end up failing to match up with the company's expectations. Most of them cannot perform the basics of the enterprise requirements because of their incompetence in their work. Such becomes a big drawback to the company as they fail to steer the company in the right direction.

Many companies fail due to inexperienced workers who the company through some corrupt methods. To ensure this trend is curbed, it is important for the owners of the businesses and the government in places of public companies to have a well-trained and trust-able or rather people of high integrity to lead the recruitment team to foster a good and corruption-free environment when it comes to recruitment of employees.

Such a step will be of great help, as the cream of workers that result from that type of recruitment will be based on merit and experience. Combining the two is essential to lead the organization towards achieving its goals and objectives in the end. Further, this will result in the country's development as the success of businesses in a country determines largely how that national economic development will proceed.

What Role Does Transparency Play?

Transparency is very vital in combating corruption. When there is transparency among the workers and owners of various companies, for example, the result is always a conducive working environment and reduced fraud instances. For example, to root out corruption, there is the need for the board of directors and even the business owner to put it clear that all and sundry must be transparent in all their undertakings.

Employing that practice helps keep the workers on toes and remind them of their duties, which must be done with transparency and accountability. Organizations that adhere and uphold such practices research has shown that they end up succeeding and achieving their goals without any problems. They thrive well, unlike the companies where workers do not practice transparency and accountability. It proves that responsibility is imperative and viable, especially when used in businesses that require many employees and of which are to perform several roles in the company.

When applied appropriately, the practice brings many benefits not only to the company but also to the employees as they get used to being honest in their deeds. This aspect helps them work in every organization with a good reputation because of their image and conduct. Many companies are always looking for competent and transparent workers, and when they get them, they retain them for quite a long time because of what they offer to the company.

Role of International Conventions and International Organization

The establishment of international conventions and international organizations' use is also a good way to mitigate corruption in both businesses and government institutions. Corruption has a cross-border dimension, and as such, the need for international legal structure to deal with it is an essential requirement. For example, international organizations use to deal with corruption worldwide like the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). Since its inception, the UNCAC has been useful in creating a global framework, which entails both the developed and developing nations. It calls for an end to domestic and foreign corruption, extortion, and conflicts of interest laws. Laws enlisted in the international law concerning commercial activities are deemed to hold all business transactions globally, and all are expected to adhere to the same. Such laws are relevant in curbing corruption in the current society.

Today, many nations depend on both private and public transactions for their development, and when corruption emerges, it becomes a big challenge. As a result, countries try to solve the problem in the best ways possible. Among the ways employed by most of the world's developing nations is to include international organizations and sign in to other conventions, which work towards eliminating corruption in the world. Such has been effective though not fully, but at least one can see their achievements.

Role of Cultural Integrity in Fighting Corruption

Lastly, corruption can be solved if at all individuals embrace the culture of integrity. Creating a culture of integrity is a way that can be used to curb corruption in almost all sectors. For example, through education, all individuals need to instill the culture of doing the right thing at the right time and being accountable for their deeds. As such, people will start doing their roles with more integrity, which will lead to a society committed to kicking out corruption. Through fostering this culture, there will be a healthy environment for everybody in all spheres of life. However, such an attempt calls for much dedication from the people and sacrificing their greed for the betterment of society.

What Does Research Say?

From the class poll that was conducted on the methods of solving corruption, it was noted that the majority of students (both male and female) were for domestic ways of solving methods. For example, a big percentage argued that recruitment led by persons of integrity to curb corruption was the best way of addressing corruption, followed closely by external auditors' use.

However, a significant number of female students seemed to favor or rather choose the creation of a culture of integrity as their best method of solving corruption, unlike male students who wanted both the use of external auditors and the recruitment process led by persons of high integrity. The students were comfortable with the above-described methods in curbing corruption.


In conclusion, therefore, corruption is a vice that prevents the social, political, cultural, and economic development of a country. It is hard to end corruption because of its endemic nature, but it can be controlled. Efforts to address this challenge of corruption globally needs the full participation of both people. All and sundry need to wake and gear up in the same direction to alleviate corruption in our society.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2020 Ian Muiruri

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