Most people believe that governments are corrupt. In fact, fixing corruption in the U.S. government ranked number-two in a list of the most critical issues that should be addressed in the recent presidential election.
Large corporations are no strangers to corruption either. In a 2008 global survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers and The Economic Intelligence Unit, an increasing number of large companies said they recognized their vulnerability to corruption and the benefits of effective anti-corruption programs and controls.
Sixty-three percent indicated that they had experienced some form of actual or attempted corruption, and 45 percent have not entered a specific market or pursued a particular opportunity because of corruption risks. However, while 80 percent said they have some form of an anti-corruption program in place, only 22 percent were confident of the program’s effectiveness.
Corruption on a smaller scale is much more likely to get swept under the rug. We are far more likely to tolerate corruption in our small businesses because it doesn’t seem to have any long-term ill effects. But “seem” would be the operative word here. Regardless of the size of your business, corruption—defined as the misuse of entrusted power for private gain via bribery, conflicts of interest, extortion, embezzlement and fraud—will damage your organization’s reputation and may even have severe operational, financial, legal and regulatory consequences.
It's in your best interest to expose and root out corrupt activities before they sabotage your culture. For recommended action steps, head over to the full post at the AMEX Open Forum.