INTRODUCTION.The United Nations Global Compact initiative was launched in 2000 as an approach to encourage businesses globally to take on a sustainable approach to doing business, an approach which would see them making and supporting policies in line with the maximization of human rights, the address of labor issues and corruption as well as consideration for the environment. Beder (2013) defines the initiative as a collection of complimentary ideas whose end goal is to achieve the realization of a responsible global corporate citizenship. For the purpose of this assignment we are going to be focused on corruption as one of the guiding principles in the initiative. Corruption is defined by Jain (2002) as the dishonest use of power by those in authority to advance personal interests. This definition is supported by Hough (2017) who defines it as the misuse of power for private gain. There are different levels at which corruption can occur in business, these are known as scales of corruption and there are three scales of corruption. The first is petty corruption which is defined by Yadav (2011) as corruption which occurs in a situation where basic laws and regulations are in place but supervising officials ignore them to benefit personally. It is the lowest level of corruption where there is minimal gain and minimal harm done as a result. The second is grand corruption, which is defined by Jain (2002) as corruption which occurs amongst the elite in institutions and requires a certain amount of social and political capital to be able to commit. The last, systematic corruption is defined by Yadav (2011) as corruption which is due to the weaknesses that exist within organizations. These weaknesses could be as a result of monopolies in business, the lack of transparency and at times conflicting incentives of those in power. For this piece of work we will be focusing on extortion, bribery and nepotism as globally rampant forms of corruption under all the scales and assess their nature and solutions to curb them in a manner aligned with the Global Compact Initiative.
TYPES OF CORRUPTION.BRIBERY.Bribery is defined by Rendtorff (2017) as the act of exchanging items of value and for some kind of influence and power. The items of value often include money, gifts or promises and these are used to influence the behavior or actions of the person on the receiving end. Pollock (2011) argues that people pay bribes for the sake of convenience. She further elaborates on this by arguing that bribes make it easy to fast track applications and for the convenience of avoiding multi-step processes. Bribery has multiple effects on all affected parties, on the individuals directly affected they live with the fear of their acts being publicly exposed and losing their jobs, businesses involved in bribery also run the same risk whilst for society, they have to bear the burden of inefficiencies and inequities that come about as a result of bribery. It can however be very difficult to identify acts of bribery as many businesses often engage in the exchange of gifts with each other for various reasons some of which are legitimate thus making it harder to tell the difference. According to Rendtorff (2017) in different countries, several organizations have used gift giving and entertainment as cultural forms of economic transactions. This only makes it even more difficult to differentiate between practices that are acceptable and those that are not.
NEPOTISM.Jones (2013) defines nepotism as a set of psychological and social processes associated with observed phenomena with respect to family membership and relationships in and around organizations. It can also be defined as undue favors given to relatives and friends by those with considerable amount of power and influence. Often when this is done, those doing it assume they are helping their close relatives and giving them access to opportunities they otherwise would not have. This is negligent of the fact that, whilst in an effort to secure opportunity for those close to them they are also taking away the same opportunity from somebody else who might actually deserve it. Taylor (2009) argues that in more established institutions, people use nepotism as a way of protecting their own interests as they know that by hiring people closest to them they are most likely always going to have them as allies in the place of work. Bellow (2004) takes a different approach and argues that human beings have an inherent human inclination towards nepotism and argues that a lot of families have established great names for themselves and those associated with them through these acts. In his book Bellow (2004) cites examples of American families such as the Gores, the Kennedys and the Bushes and how they have, through nepotism had positive effects on their family lines and the communities they work with. This however does not take away from the fact that nepotism eats off of, fair play and meritocracy.
EXTORTION.Extortion is the crime of obtaining something from an individual or organization through the use of force, threats or blackmail. Storm (2015) alludes to threats to damage one’s reputation and threats to one’s financial wellbeing as different examples of extortion. Even though extortion generally involves the use of threats against individuals it does not have to include any kind of physical harm or relate to any other unlawful act to become wrong in and of itself. A lot of extortion culprits include competing businesses, disgruntled employees, opportunistic criminals and online hackers. Though extortion is often a risk most companies cannot control there are several factors that can be used to mitigate against it, in developed countries there are extortion insurance policies whilst in developing countries, members can be educated on extortion laws which put them in a position to understand and protect themselves against harm.
SOLUTIONS TO CORRUPTION IN THE WORK PLACE.EMPLOYEE EDUCATION AND SENSITIZATION.Small scale acts of corruption have in the past proven to be able to grow large and uncontrollable especially where the harms related with these acts are not clearly explicit. Employees who take small bribes to implement small favors could pollute the organization without even recognizing it. It is therefore important that they receive at all times the effects of corruption not only on themselves but on the welfare on the institution. Rinderman (2018) argues that by educating those around us, we put ourselves in a position to shape the world how we want it to turn out, which in this regard is an anti-corrupt system. This can also help to avoid instances where people excuse corruption by saying that it is everywhere or that it has always existed.
ADOPTING A SYSTEMATIC ANTI CORRUPTION APPROACH.Systematic approaches according to Emery (2002) always take into consideration the boundaries, inputs and outputs, subsystems and relationships which lead to certain acts happening or failing to happen. This means that in order to understand corruption and how to curb it, corporations need to put in the work to finding out what its causes are within their industries and how the solutions they put in place will mitigate it in the long run. This is ideal for avoiding a problem-solution mismatch which often occurs as a result of assuming that because one approach works for one entity it would work for you too.
IMPLEMENTATION OF ANTI-CORRUPTION LAWS.Though found in different parts of each constitution, a lot of countries have anti-corruption laws which are put in place to try and curb corruption. They include laws such as extortion laws, bribery acts and administrative misconduct acts. States need to be more proactive in bringing to justice the people who intentionally go against these laws and in ensuring that the public knows what constitutes as illegal activity so that they can help bring perpetrators to justice. If the State is seen as primary actor in the fight against crime, this will have a large symbolic impact on how society view it and the approach they take to solving it.
CONCLUSION.Corruption has been perceived as a social trends which exists as a result of broken value systems and the lack of implementation of rule of law. It has been excused by identifying it as something that has always been there and having been to some degree culturally acceptable. It has however also proven to be very bad and that its harms outweigh whatever short term benefits we think we could accrue from it. Not only does it distort markets, allow for the establishment of organized crime and threats to human security, corruption also actively neglects and ignores the rule of law and social justice. The end result of this is the social costs that comes it, these include the normalization of corruption, creation of toxic societies and creation of wrong models of leadership for upcoming generations The best way to curb corruption is by adopting interactive mechanisms which work together to building a corrupt free business environment. The Global Compact Initiative plays a fundamental role in this by bringing together all concerned parties to help find and uphold efficient solutions that will help put an end to corruption.