Be like water: developing a fluid corruption prevention strategy

Author:Hendi Yogi Prabowo, Suhernita Suhernita
Position:Accounting Programme, Faculty of Economics Islamic University of Indonesia, Sleman, Indonesia
Pages:997-1023
SUMMARY

Purpose Based on the authors’ study, the purpose of this paper is to establish a foundation for assessing and deciding the most feasible corruption prevention activities with significant impact in reducing corruption in the Indonesian public sector. To accomplish this objective, this paper applies multiple theoretical perspectives simultaneously to better understand the behavioral aspects of corruption prevention strategy in Indonesia. Design/methodology/approach This paper is part of the authors’ study to assess the corruption problem in the Indonesian public sector in the past decade primarily... (see full summary)

 
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Be like water: developing a uid
corruption prevention strategy
Hendi Yogi Prabowo
Accounting Programme, Faculty of Economics Islamic University of Indonesia,
Sleman, Indonesia, and
Suhernita Suhernita
Accounting Programme, Faculty of Economics Andalas University, Padang,
Indonesia
Abstract
Purpose Based on the authorsstudy, the purposeof this paper is to establish a foundation for assessing
and deciding themost feasible corruption prevention activitieswith signicant impact in reducing corruption
in the Indonesian public sector. To accomplish this objective, this paper applies multiple theoretical
perspectives simultaneouslyto better understand the behavioral aspects of corruptionprevention strategy in
Indonesia.
Design/methodology/approach This paper is part of the authorsstudy to assess the corruption
problem in theIndonesian public sector in the past decadeprimarily through examination of majorcorruption
cases to highlight various behavioral issues that became the root causes of rampaging corruption in the
country. This paper also discusses howsuch issues undermine the effectiveness of the existing corruption
preventionstrategy as well as how to properly address them.
Findings The authors establish that there are numerous overlooked behavioral issues that have
rendered existing corruption prevention measures in the Indonesian public sector ineffective in
hampering the regeneration of corruption. Gaining sufcient understanding on how public ofcials
view on corruption is shaped by their culture and society is crucial in ascertaining what needs to be
done to prevent corruption from reoccurring in the future. This study demonstrates that transformative
learning needs to be systematically carried out to re-engineer organizational mindset to make it
intolerant to corruption which includes unlearning the embedded knowledge of corruption. To support
the execution of organizational unlearning discernment must be exercised to enable anti-corruption
messages to be sent to the target groups. Nevertheless, due to various inherent behavioral issues within
the Indonesian public institutions stimulating anti-corruption discernment is in itself a profound
challenge. To promote anti-corruption discernment in the Indonesian public sector, this study proposes
the Shame-oriented Anti-corruption Discernment Stimulation (SADS) which focuses on the
management of shamein stimulating anti-corruption discernment within public institutions in
Indonesia.
Research limitations/implications This study is self-funded and is relying primarily on
documentary analysis in highlighting the behavioral issues that determine the success and failure of
corruption prevention strategy in Indonesia. Future studies may benet from interviews with experts in
Indonesian cultureas well as indigenous people who can offer a broader view on how self-conscious emotions
such as shame and guiltare actually experienced in different regions in Indonesia.
Practical implications This paper contributesto the development of corruption preventionstrategy by
proposing a frameworkfor systematically stimulating anti-corruptiondiscernment within organizations that
are part of collectivisticsocieties.
Originality/value This paper highlights the importance of behavior-oriented approaches in mitigating
corruptionin the Indonesian public sector.
Keywords Corruption, Indonesia, Tacit knowledge, Discernment, Culture, Shame
Paper type Research paper
Corruption
prevention
strategy
997
Journalof Financial Crime
Vol.25 No. 4, 2018
pp. 997-1023
© Emerald Publishing Limited
1359-0790
DOI 10.1108/JFC-04-2017-0031
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
www.emeraldinsight.com/1359-0790.htm
Corruption is now regarded as one of the most perplexing problems faced by many nations
(Bhargava and Bolongaita, 2004, p. 1). As a centuries old problem, corruption is unique in
particular in terms of its secrecy (Palmier, 2006, p. 147).Despite often perpetrated in groups
and its existence is acknowledgedby the public in many cases, it is not easy to identify the
victims of corruption (e.g. no corpse, no broken windows, no forced doors, etc.) (Palmier,
2006, p. 147). The shadowy nature of corruption has made detection and prosecution very
difcult to be performedeffectively (Palmier, 2006, p. 147). Throughout the years, corruption
in its various incarnations has become an object of study by numerous researchers from
multiple perspectives(Matei and Matei, 2011,p.23).
In Indonesia, corruption has diminishedthe competitiveness of the countrys economy as
well as eroding trust in the government (Organization for Economic Co-Operation and
Development, 2015). In addition to inhibiting social justice, corruption will result in
increasing transaction costs as well as unfair resource distribution which will harm
consumer welfare (Li et al.,2015). Many view corruption in Indonesia as instilled within all
levels of government (national, provincial, municipality and village) (Butt, 2012, p. 1).It is
noteworthy that, unlike in many other countries, earlier in the New Order era rampant
corruption was seen as going hand inhand with high economic growth in Indonesia which
was believed to be constituted by the centralized nature of corruption at the time (Kuncoro,
2006, p. 13).
After the fall of the New Order regime the decentralization system was adopted
throughout the nation supposedlyto avoid power to be held by a small group of people. The
transition to a decentralized governancesystem was initially regarded as a landmark policy
to optimize local governmentsability to set up locally appropriate regulations and policies
as well as to effectively and efciently use funds allocated from the central government
(Pepinsky and Wihardja, 2011, p. 338). However, despite some success in a number of
regions in the country, the decentralization appeared to have blurred borders of
responsibility and lines of reporting in the bureaucracy and facilitated increasing rent-
seeking activities at local levels (Kuncoro,2006). In other words, the decentralization system
in Indonesia has created a new problem, decentralized corruption. It appears that the
implementation of the decentralization system in Indonesia has created opportunities for
some local leaders to behave like small kingsand use their positions for personal benet
(Masaaki, 2004, p. 23).
With regard to the complexity and dynamicsof the corruption problem, this paper offers
a fresh approach to understand and solve the problemmore effectively and efciently. More
specically, this paper seeks to integrate elements from multiple theories related to
corruption so as to shed light on multiple behavioral issues which may affect the success
and failure of corruption prevention initiatives. By applying transformative learning
framework to enhance the effectiveness and efciency of current corruption prevention
strategy this paper proposes a new model for stimulatinganti-corruption discernment in the
Indonesian public sector which emphasizes on the management of shame.The data for
this study were collected by means of documentaryanalysis on the trend in corruption cases
as well as anti-corruptioninitiatives in Indonesia.
Format of the paper
The next section of this paper provides an overview of the behavioral building blocks of
corruption in Indonesia. This sectiondiscusses the current trend of corruption in Indonesia
as well as the historical origins of various behavioral issues that became the root causes of
the rampaging corruption in the country. The next section discusses the concepts
transformative learning including its elements and how it can be used to bring signicant
JFC
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