Corruption: an impediment to good governance

Published date03 February 2021
Date03 February 2021
Subject MatterAccounting & finance,Financial risk/company failure,Financial crime
AuthorHabeeb Abdulrauf Salihu
Corruption: an impediment to
good governance
Habeeb Abdulrauf Salihu
Department of Criminology and Security Studies,
Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
Purpose This paper aims to contribute to the body of literature that examined the consequences of
corruption,particularly on good governance.
Design/methodology/approach This paper is basically desk research.It relies on previous academic
literatureon corruption and governance.
Findings This paper identif‌iesthe various ways corruption has hindered the elements of governance and
highlights areas where energiestowards ensuring good governance and a corruption-free society should be
Originality/value The scope of this paper is limited to issues and literature relating to the effects of
corruptionon governance, particularly in developing countries.
Keywords Poor governance,Corruption in developingcountries, Economic implicationsof corruption
Paper type General review
An honest and transparent democraticgovernment needs to balance the connexion between
private wealth and public resources; failure to do so may result in a dysfunctional system
largely controlled by boundless personal (wealth) interests (Anderson and Yuliya, 2003).
One of the indications of such system is corruption:private accumulation of public wealth,
private willingness to underminepublic goals and private exercise of excessive inf‌luenceon
public policies which will eventuallybring about ineffectual service delivery, infrastructural
decay, enforcement of faulty policies and bad governance (Adebayo, 2014;United Nations
Development Programme,2004).
Corruption is a multidimensional term, it has no single accepted def‌inition and
encompasses a range of activities as literature has demonstrated (Zimring and Johnson,
2005). The usage of the term, therefore, largely depends on the perspectives or focus of
researchers. Generally, it is often used to mean the abuse of public positions for private
gains.However, theterm goes beyond this microscopic description, becauseit is a term that
is not restricted to public institutions alone; it also cuts across the private sector and all
aspects of human activities(including informal dealings). Thus, def‌ining corruption remains
a major challenge to researchers(Caiden, 2011;Salihu and Gholami, 2018).
For the purpose of this work, the author adopt the widely used def‌inition of corruption
given by international organisations as misuse of public off‌ice for personal benef‌its. For
instance, Transparency International (2009) def‌ines corruption as the abuse of entrusted
power for private gains.In the same way, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) (2005)
describes it as the exploitation of public authority or trust for private benef‌it.Accordingly,
corruption within the context of this work is def‌ined as any activity undertaken by an
individual or group entrusted with a position(s) of authority, with the purpose to acquire
illicit prof‌it(s).
Journalof Financial Crime
Vol.29 No. 1, 2022
pp. 101-110
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/JFC-11-2020-0235
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