Toward a cleaner project procurement: Evaluation of construction projects’ vulnerability to corruption in developing countries

Emmanuel Kingsford Owusu, Albert P.C. Chan, Ernest Ameyaw

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


While the measurement and predictability of corruption are reported to be difficult due to its clandestine nature, this paper attempts to develop a measurement model for evaluating the proneness of the procurement process of construction projects to corruption. The model is developed using a soft computing approach (i.e. the Fuzzy Synthetic Evaluation technique) to assess the levels of vulnerability with respect to the stages of corruption and their corresponding activities within the procurement process of construction projects. A review of related literature produced a 21-activity list encapsulated within the four stages of the procurement process. The list was evaluated by procurement and construction practitioners through an expert survey. The analysis of the survey results revealed an overall project vulnerability index which suggests that construction projects executed in developing countries are relatively susceptible to corrupt practices. The main stages of the process that were identified to be vulnerable were the contract stage (CTS) and the post-contract phase (PCP). The developed model is, possibly, the first measuring tool that evaluates and predicts a project's susceptibility to corruption and provides useful insights that can inform project parties, policymakers and anti-corruption activists in their efforts to implement necessary actions aimed at curbing the incidence of corrupt practices in construction projects in the developing countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-407
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2019


  • Construction project procurement
  • Corruption
  • Developing countries
  • Fuzzy synthetic evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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