Conditions of Collective Commitment in Sector-Specific Coordinated Governance Initiatives

Although both the problem of corruption and its detrimental effects on society, economy, and environment has widely been recognized, corruption remains one of the most challenging problems of today. In light of globalization, the exclusive focus on compliance-oriented measures such as sharpening laws seems to be more and more ineffective. 

Apparently, the problem is not so much a lack of anti-corruption regulation, but rather a lack of enforcement of existing regulatory frameworks. This governance gap is increasingly tackled by the business sector. As a consequence, new governance mechanisms characterized by the involvement of non-state actors have emerged in recent years, in an attempt to fill this gap.

These Coordinated Governance Initiatives in which companies along with representatives of other societal sectors join forces to tackle the problem of corruption have not been in the focus of research so far. More research is needed particularly on the effectiveness of these collective anti-corruption efforts to explain whether this approach is useful to curb corruption. Therefore, we attempt to identify potential success factors of Coordinated Governance Initiatives that aim to curb corruption by means of a qualitative multiple-case study.

Twenty semi-structured interviews were conducted with members of three different initiatives. Additionally, secondary data sources were examined. Three different anti-corruption initiatives were selected: the Ethics Management of the Bavarian Construction Industry (EMB), the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), and the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN). 

We found five success factors and one basic prerequisite for sector-specific Coordinated Governance Initiatives. Although the identification of success factors of Coordinated Governance Initiatives is just the first step in the assessment of these initiatives, results indicate that a collective commitment obviously matters when it comes to fighting corruption.

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Springer Netherlands