Cultural Roots Of Corruption - The Case Of Western Balkans

Živka Pržulj, Svetolik Kostadinović


Corruption is the biggest obstacle to equality of market opportunities and it is generated by great power of the state administration, lack of transparency, lack of control authority mechanisms and uncontrolled power of individuals within the state authorities. Such conditions for corruption are created by the authoritarian systems, including various forms of individual, military or ideological tyranny. This is a significant economic, political and ethical issue. In order to be better understood and effectively eradicated, it is necessary to understand how different cultures accept corruption and the relationship between corruption and specific dimensions of culture. In this paper attention is focused on the relationship of specific aspects of culture and corruption, relying on existing experimental studies. The purpose of this paper is to check the belief expressed in the literature on the example of the Western Balkans that high power distance culture is the key cultural element which creates the conditions for the emergence and acceptance of corruption in a society. The dimensions of culture identified by Geerd Hofstede are used in the analysis and power distance is identified as the most important dimension for generating corruption in society. Using comparative analysis of power distance index and corruption index possible connections between them can be identified. This leads us to the conclusion that power distance as one of the key cultural dimensions influence the level of corruption in society. As basic research limitations the following have been identified: the complexity of the phenomenon of culture of which power distance is only one element, and the fact that corruption is a complex social phenomenon, on which, apart from culture, other important factors have influence. This implies that in the activities intended for eradiction of corruption it is practically necessary to thake into account the need to change culture, which is a slow and difficulty process, but not impossible one.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n19p528

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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