Investigating the Underlying Factors of Corruption in the Public Construction Sector: Evidence from China

Science and Engineering Ethics 23 (6):1643-1666 (2017)
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Abstract

Over recent years, the issue of corruption in the public construction sector has attracted increasing attention from both practitioners and researchers worldwide. However, limited efforts are available for investigating the underlying factors of corruption in this sector. Thus, this study attempted to bridge this knowledge gap by exploring the underlying factors of corruption in the public construction sector of China. To achieve this goal, a total of 14 structured interviews were first carried out, and a questionnaire survey was then administered to 188 professionals in China. Two iterations of multivariate analysis approaches, namely, stepwise multiple regression analysis and partial least squares structural equation modeling were successively utilized to analyze the collected data. In addition, a case study was also conducted to triangulate the findings obtained from the statistical analysis. The results generated from these three research methods achieve the same conclusion: the most influential underlying factor leading to corruption was immorality, followed by opacity, unfairness, procedural violation, and contractual violation. This study has contributed to the body of knowledge by exploring the properties of corruption in the public construction sector. The findings from this study are also valuable to the construction authorities as they can assist in developing more effective anti-corruption strategies.

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