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Anti-corruption and integrity awards

For decades, anti-corruption strategies have been based on an understanding that corrupt people were rational beings, making rational decisions when they decide to engage in corruption. As a result, the rationale was to make corruption as inconvenient as possible. However, contrary to this assumption, social psychology and behavioural economics demonstrate that human decision-making is not always rational. Mental shortcuts and intuition play an important role in shaping behaviour surrounding corruption. This realisation has opened up a new terrain to think of anti-corruption based on how people act towards and engage in corruption. That requires first an understanding of the psychology of corruption and, second, a holistic approach to influence both the mind and the environment in which the individual makes decisions. Awards, as a form of incentive, are among some of the tools that can be considered when designing strategies meant to help curb corruption through behavioural changes.

19 July 2018
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Anti-corruption and integrity awards

Main points

  • Awards work as incentives to influence human behaviour.
  • The promotion of intrinsic motivation to counter corruption should produce an emotional reward obtained after doing something "right" for others.
  • Motivation can come from reinforcing the idea that what is done at the individual level matters and promotes integrity.
  • By providing genuine incentives, organisations can motivate partners to demonstrate their anti-corruption and integrity efforts proactively.

Cite this publication

Kukutschka, R.; (2018) Anti-corruption and integrity awards. Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Helpdesk Answer 2018:20)

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Roberto Martinez B. Kukutschka


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