The Culture of Construction Organisations: the Epitome of Institutionalised Corruption

Andrew Oyen Arewa
Peter Farrell

Abstract


The culture of an organisation is a vital element of business competency that must align with its strategic goals, and enhance peoples’ perceptions, feelings and behaviour in adapting to the world around them. Organisational culture may also bring about negative practices such as dishonesty and unethical behaviours. Recently the culture of some construction organisations has been called into question. For example, major construction projects around the globe have become involved in allegations of fraud and corruption. The cost is currently estimated at US$860 billion globally; with forecasts that it may rise to US$1.5 trillion by 2025. Hitherto the role of the culture of construction organisations in fraud and corruption activities has been largely hidden. The study aim is to establish whether the culture of construction organisations promotes corrupt practices in the UK construction and infrastructure sector. The study employed mixed research methods with interviews supported by a questionnaire and an examination of five case studies in different countries. Findings show that the culture of construction organisations together with the nature of the industry promotes fraud and corruption. The study subsequently highlights key cultural factors that support fraud and corruption in a way that is almost institutionalised.  


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5130/AJCEB.v15i3.4619

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