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How context matters in corruption: the case of Wollongong City Council

Conference Paper


Abstract


  • Although there are widespread reports of institutional corruption and scandals, there is a serious lack of

    empirical research into these events. Guest editors to the recent special issue of the Academy of Management

    Review featuring organisational corruption ask, “Where were management scholars in the midst of all this

    turmoil?” (Ashforth et al., 2008, p.671). In March 2008, the Commissioner presiding over the Independent

    Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) under section 74C(1) of the ICAC Act recommended that consideration

    be given to the making of a proclamation under the Local Government Act 1993 that the civic offices in relation

    to the Wollongong City Council (WCC) be declared vacant. This recommendation was made after the

    Commissioner formed an opinion that (1) systemic corruption existed within the relevant council and (2) prompt

    action was required in the public interest. This paper examines the contextual factors contributing to corrupt

    Wollongong City Council (WCC) employee behaviour, and explains how this once highly regarded institution

    and some of its employees succumbed to contextual factors, and failed to uphold basic tenets of ethical

    behaviour. Using the ICAC inquiry reports, media and web material, this paper reviews the existing corruption,

    ethics and contextual based human resources literature, and develops a single case study of the WCC

    development application scandal. Adapting Jaap Paauwe’s (1994, 1998) Contextually Based Human Resources

    Theory, the paper dissects and analyses the events through the economic, social and administrative dimensions

    leading up to the infamous sacking of the WCC, and propose a Contextually Based Organisational Ethical

    Theory.

Publication Date


  • 2009

Citation


  • Fernando, M. & Zanko, M. (2009). How context matters in corruption: the case of Wollongong City Council. Social Innovation Network Conference (pp. 15-16). Wollongong, Australia: University of Wollongong.

Start Page


  • 15

End Page


  • 16

Place Of Publication


  • Wollongong, Australia

Abstract


  • Although there are widespread reports of institutional corruption and scandals, there is a serious lack of

    empirical research into these events. Guest editors to the recent special issue of the Academy of Management

    Review featuring organisational corruption ask, “Where were management scholars in the midst of all this

    turmoil?” (Ashforth et al., 2008, p.671). In March 2008, the Commissioner presiding over the Independent

    Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) under section 74C(1) of the ICAC Act recommended that consideration

    be given to the making of a proclamation under the Local Government Act 1993 that the civic offices in relation

    to the Wollongong City Council (WCC) be declared vacant. This recommendation was made after the

    Commissioner formed an opinion that (1) systemic corruption existed within the relevant council and (2) prompt

    action was required in the public interest. This paper examines the contextual factors contributing to corrupt

    Wollongong City Council (WCC) employee behaviour, and explains how this once highly regarded institution

    and some of its employees succumbed to contextual factors, and failed to uphold basic tenets of ethical

    behaviour. Using the ICAC inquiry reports, media and web material, this paper reviews the existing corruption,

    ethics and contextual based human resources literature, and develops a single case study of the WCC

    development application scandal. Adapting Jaap Paauwe’s (1994, 1998) Contextually Based Human Resources

    Theory, the paper dissects and analyses the events through the economic, social and administrative dimensions

    leading up to the infamous sacking of the WCC, and propose a Contextually Based Organisational Ethical

    Theory.

Publication Date


  • 2009

Citation


  • Fernando, M. & Zanko, M. (2009). How context matters in corruption: the case of Wollongong City Council. Social Innovation Network Conference (pp. 15-16). Wollongong, Australia: University of Wollongong.

Start Page


  • 15

End Page


  • 16

Place Of Publication


  • Wollongong, Australia