The perception of corruption
across Europe, Middle East
University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK
Purpose – This paper aims to examine the perception of corruption across Europe, Middle East and
Africa across a small population of Compliance employees within a global organisation.
Design/methodology/approach – An online survey consisting of 18 open and closed style questions
and those using the Likert scale to measure perceptions was used in this research. Some of the questions
were designed to enable supporting commentary to be provided.
Findings – This paper has only compounded the general published view of non-governmental
organisations and academics that corruption is real and widespread and affects society, irrespective of
age, culture or geographic location.
Research limitations/implications – This study was targeted at a Compliance function within one
organisation. Even though all the respondents would have had the same training, their perception might
not be the same as individuals in the same country who were not employed within the same
Practical implications – This may benet companies from a training perspective, as it
demonstrates the variety of opinions that exist within one organisation. It may also be of interest to
organisations such as Transparency International, who conduct periodic research into the perception of
Social implications – This research highlights the differences of opinion just within one
organisation and thereby demonstrates the difculties faced in tackling corruption.
Originality/value – As this research was conducted from an internal perspective within one
organization, it provides a unique insight into the views and opinions of employees across Europe,
Middle East and Africa.
Keywords Middle East, Europe, Africa, Perception, Corruption
Paper type Research paper
As a widespread issue, corruption is affecting all societies to varying degrees, at
different times (Pellegrini and Gerlagh, 2005). Some researchers have a view that it can
assist with the growth of an economy and assist the development of a country by
removing inefciencies, while others argue that it affects the poor, imposes additional
costs on businesses and produces an air of distrust, along with other challenges. There
has been extensive debate on the denition of corruption, as it varies across cultures and
countries. What is perceived to be corrupt behaviour in one culture or country may be
totally acceptable in another, even to the point of it being the normal way of undertaking
business (Sullivan, 2006).
With the wealth of literature published on corruption come a number of indices that
are produced to measure some part of this social phenomenon. One such index produced
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Journalof Financial Crime
Vol.23 No. 1, 2016
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