Managing anti-corruption - PDCA as an implementation model for business
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Despite increased focus on anti-corruption management, corruption continues to be a challenge for companies. This thesis applies an exploratory approach to gain insight in how organizational aspects affect implementation of anti-corruption programs. Two distinct research questions have been investigated separately in the analysis and are linked in the final discussion. Specifically, the first research question explores how the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) model can be applied in management of anti-corruption programs. The second research question how organizational aspects could influence implementation of anti-corruption programs. Each research question is first analyzed theoretically, before linking the findings from the theoretical analysis to empirical findings. Semi-structured interviews of an expert panel were used to gather data on anti-corruption management in companies and challenges for implementation. The theoretical analysis of the first research question showed that the model could be an important tool to incorporate recommendations and resolve ambiguity regarding program requirements. Of particular importance for legal compliance, it that recommendations for the preventive section of the Norwegian General Civil Penal Code requires companies to assess performance and review policies over time. Analysis of the second research question indicated that different social mechanisms and organizational culture in the company could promote or discourage rationalization of corrupt acts, normalize deviations from policies and affect employee commitment to the anti-corruption program. Results from the empirical analysis suggest a lack of awareness related to anti-corruption and limited follow-through on practical implementation. The findings furthermore suggest that the covertness of corrupt acts contagions anti-corruption management with a lack of openness. Counterintuitively, it was found that zero-tolerance could give unintended consequences in the implementation of anti-corruption programs and in particular in relation to detection mechanisms of corruption. Though the Plan-Do-Check-Act model pose a framework for continual improvement, the combination and complexity of the practical challenges may challenge the foundation for improvement. Anti-corruption management cannot be seen separately from organizational aspect. Linking the two research questions, a framework that acknowledges the role of organizational aspects is presented. The framework includes five key organizational aspects commitment, consistency, involvement, awareness and openness identified through theoretical and empirical analysis, which the anti-corruption programs should be built on to ensure the greatest chance of success in implementation. The framework illustrates how design and implementation is interlinked; the Plan-Do-Check-Act modelcannot be seen separate from its implementation context. The thesis concludes with suggestions for future research and some concluding thoughts for the future.