Barriers Affecting Effective Application of Anticorruption Measures in Infrastructure Projects: Disparities between Developed and Developing Countries

Emmanuel Kingsford Owusu, Albert P.C. Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the critical barriers that obstruct the full potency and the intended effectiveness of anticorruption measures (ACMs) enforced to mitigate the pervasiveness of corrupt practices in project procurement and execution. To achieve this aim, a comprehensive review of related literature was conducted and resulted in the identification of 17 critical barriers. An expert survey was conducted with 65 experts from around the world involved in infrastructure project procurement and management using the purposive sampling technique. The analysis was conducted on a contextual comparative basis, thus, comparing the views of experts from the developed countries against the experts from the developing countries. The leading barriers identified by the respondents from the developing context were the absence of political will by government officers and statutory professional councils to fight corruption and personal attitudes, which include the lack of will to become involved in fighting corruption. The respondents from the developed world revealed that nonfamiliarity with ethical codes, the fear of being caught reporting, and personal attitude were the leading barriers. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to analyze the statistical difference regarding the barriers' criticality between the two contexts. This study contributes to a deepened understanding of corruption by examining the criticalities of barriers to the effectiveness of ACMs, which have not received the needed attention in the past. The study also reveals that the prevalence of corruption in infrastructure projects is not attributed to the causes and vulnerabilities only; it is also attributed to the identified barriers. As this study informs policymakers, anticorruption institutions, and academic and industrial researchers about the barriers that are likely to be encountered in enforcing and applying the stipulated ACMs, it is also intended to contribute to the strategic development of a more holistic approach in annulling corrupt practices in project procurement and execution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04018056
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Barriers
  • Global corruption
  • Infrastructure
  • Project and organizational management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Engineering(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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