There is no compromise when it comes to corruption. You have to fight it.
A. K. Antony

Corruption is a powerful sentiment. Having grown up in a society where it’s not prevalent, not to my knowledge anyway, it has been interesting to observe it in the developing countries where I’ve worked.

In one company, the Managing Director is paid the same amount as those doing the most menial tasks. The only reason anyone aspires to be MD is so that they can tithe each project they approve.

ln another, mafia were tightly entwined into the project team wrangling scope, approvals and payments to ensure “the organisation” profited.

The most interesting was a deeply religious man who was constantly manipulating his worry-beads, whilst manipulating the system to his benefit. He was the man who controlled the standards and through the standards he could effect a vendor monopoly (if he was paid a fee), In one case, the product was inferior, the price exorbitant (extortionate?), timelines glacial and the service / support deplorable. Despite taking the A. K. Antony approach and fighting it, the religious man had secured all exits, even in the local courts.

As much as I take the ethical stance on corruption (I wouldn’t even know where to start the subterfuge in any given culture) part of me wonders whether we are obliged to adapt to local business cultural rather than thrust our cultural beliefs onto the locals. Who says our way is the right way?

What corruption situations have you seen?

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