Corruption in the South African Construction Industry: a mixed methods study

Bowen, P, Edwards, P and Cattell, K 2012, 'Corruption in the South African Construction Industry: a mixed methods study', in Simon D Smith (ed.) Proceedings of the 28th Annual ARCOM Conference, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 3-5 September 2012, pp. 521-531.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title Corruption in the South African Construction Industry: a mixed methods study
Author(s) Bowen, P
Edwards, P
Cattell, K
Year 2012
Conference name ARCOM 2012
Conference location Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Conference dates 3-5 September 2012
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 28th Annual ARCOM Conference
Editor(s) Simon D Smith
Publisher Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM)
Place of publication Reading, United Kingdom
Start page 521
End page 531
Total pages 11
Abstract The construction industry is susceptible to corruption and the effects are substantial. The experiences and perceptions of corruption in the South African construction industry are investigated through an opinion survey of clients and construction professionals. A mixed methods approach is used to analyse the response data. Corruption is perceived to be widespread. Conflicts of interest, tender rigging (collusion), "fronting" and "kickbacks" are the forms of corruption most encountered. Government officials (as clients), contractors, and sub-contractors are perceived to be the parties most involved in corrupt activities. Forms of corruption most associated with government officials include the awarding of contracts for political gain, nepotism and conflicts of interest, and interference in the tender award process. Corruption is most prevalent during the bid evaluation and tendering phases of projects. Facilitating factors include a lack of transparency in the awarding of contracts and the operating environment of the industry. Barriers to reporting include a lack of confidence in the criminal justice system, a belief that no action will be taken, and a perception that 'whistle-blowers' are not adequately protected. Addressing the issues of corruption will require the inclusion of ethics topics in tertiary education and training curricula, special continuing development seminars provided by professional associations and industry bodies, tightening of building procurement procedures, and more forensic detection systems.
Subjects Criminal Law and Procedure
Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
Keyword(s) corruption
mixed methods research
clients
construction professionals
South Africa.
Copyright notice © 2012 Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM)
ISBN 9780955239069
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