UK managers involved in international bribery, study finds

UK managers are experiencing corruption and bribery when dealing with other countries, a study shows.

More than 85 per cent of UK managers are involved in international bribery on a monthly basis, according to research from Henley Business School.

The 12-year inquiry, based on intimate conversations with over 900 business leaders, further reveals that 80 per cent of board-level executives admit to being aware of the practice.

Professor of governance and leadership at Henley Business School Andrew Kakabadse explains, ‘This project originally began in 2004 as an exercise to help coach and support high-level business individuals who were struggling with certain aspects and demands of their jobs.’

Kakabadse says if managers didn’t pay up to achieve their organisation’s objectives, then their competitors would.

The research team’s work covers managers from nations including Russia, Ireland, China, and, Germany.

Fraud, international bribery and corruption typically costs an organisation 5 per cent of revenue each year, which translates to an estimated $3.7 trillion globally, according to 2014 research from the Association for Certified Fraud Examiners.

PwC‘s 2016 Global economic crime survey suggests one in three organisations have experienced economic crime, including asset misappropriation, cyber crime, and accounting fraud. Of particular concern is that 18 per cent of senior management are involved in the crimes and 80 per cent of board level executives admit to seeing it.

Professor Kakabadse comments, ‘These suspect business practises are typically committed by concerned managers who feel that they have no alternative other than to pull out of the country in question.’

Kakabadse suggests that so many countries in the world are now deeply corrupt and it is impossible to do business without accepting local practices. The only alternative is no business.

‘A more concerted effort and partnership between business and government can start changing these deeply undesired practices which destroy public trust in society. This is a situation that has become so serious it is beyond the realm of any one manager or organisation to solve.’

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