De-normalizing corruption in the Indonesian public sector through behavioral re-engineering



Publication Details

Prabowo, H. Yogi., Cooper, K., Sriyana, J. & Syamsudin, M. (2017). De-normalizing corruption in the Indonesian public sector through behavioral re-engineering. Journal of Financial Crime, 24 (4), 552-573.


Purpose-Based on the authors' study, the purpose of this paper is to ascertain the best approach to mitigate corruption in the Indonesian public sector. To do so, the paper uses three behavioral perspectives: the Schemata Theory, the Corruption Normalization Theory and the Moral Development Theory. Design/methodology/approach-This paper is part of the authors' study to examine corruption patterns in Indonesia in the past 10 years through examination of reports from various institutions as well as other relevant documents addresses corruption-related issues to explore various options for mitigating corruption through behavioral re-engineering. For the purpose of gaining various perspectives on anti-corruption measures, this study also uses expert interviews and focus group discussions with relevant experts in Indonesia and Australia on various corruption-related issues. Findings-The authors establish that despite the fall of the New Order regime nearly two decades ago, corruption remains entrenched within the post-Suharto Governments. The normalized corruption in Indonesia is a legacy of the New Order regime that shaped societal, organizational and individual schemata in Indonesia. The patrimonial style of leadership in particular within the regional governments resulted in increasing rent-seeking activities within the decentralized system. The leadership style is also believed to have been supporting the normalization of corruption within the public sector since the New Order era. The three-decade-old systematic normalization of corruption in the Indonesian public sector can only be changed by means of long and systematic de-normalization initiatives. To design the best intervention measures, decision makers must first identify multiple factors that constitute the three normalization pillars: institutionalization, rationalization and normalization. Measures such as periodical reviews of operational procedures, appointment of leaders with sound morality, anti-corruption education programs, administering "cultural shocks", just to name a few, can be part of multifaceted strategies to bring down the normalization pillars. Research limitations/implications-The discussion on the options for de-normalization of corruption in Indonesia is focused on corruption within the Indonesian public institutions by interviewing anti-fraud professionals and scholars. A better formulation of strategic approaches can be developed by means of interviews with incarcerated corruption offenders from the Indonesian public institutions. Practical implications-This paper contributes to the development of corruption eradication strategy by suggesting options for de-normalizing corruption in the Indonesian public sector so that resources can be allocated more effectively and efficiently to mitigate the problem. Originality/value-This paper highlights the importance of behavior-oriented approaches in mitigating corruption in the Indonesian public sector.

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