Conflict, Confusion, Choice: A Phenomenological Approach to Acts of Corruption
Public sector corruption has long-term and damaging
effects that are deep and broad. Addressing corruption relies on
understanding the drivers that precipitate acts of corruption and
developing educational programs that target areas of vulnerability.
This paper provides an innovative approach to explore the nature of
corruption by drawing on the perceptions and ideas of a group of
public servants who have been part of a corruption investigation. The
paper examines these reflections through the ideas of Pierre Bourdieu
and Alfred Schutz to point to some of the steps that can lead to
corrupt activity. The paper demonstrates that phenomenological
inquiry is useful in the exploration of corruption and, as a theoretical
framework, it highlights that corruption emerges through a
combination of conflict, doubt and uncertainty. The paper calls for
anti-corruption education programs to be attentive to way in which
these conditions can influence the steps into corruption.
Phenomenology, choice, conflict, corruption.