Corrupt Practices in the Construction Industry: A Survey of Ghanaian Experience

Ernest Effah Ameyaw, Erika Parn, Albert Chan PC, De-Graft Owusu-Manu, Edwards John David

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91 Citations (Scopus)
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Globally, corruption presents a major risk that reduces construction project
performance by inflating costs and reducing the quality of infrastructure commissioned. In developing countries, corruption stifles economic development and engenders social inequality. This paper uncovers the prevalence and forms of corrupt practices within the developing country of Ghana using a structured questionnaire survey to elicit direct knowledge and lived experiences of construction practitioners. Research findings illustrate that habitual corruption and unethical behaviour prevails amongst public officials, contractors and construction professionals during the bid evaluation, tendering and contract implementation stages of a construction contract. This research proffers
that corruption is driven by a toxic concoction of high political connections, excessive and reckless sole sourcing of public construction projects, lack of commitment by construction companies to address corruption and the inherently idiosyncratic operational environment of the construction sector. The top-five forms of corruption frequently encountered, in descending order, are kickbacks (extortion), bribery, collusion and tender rigging, conflict of interest and fraud. The research presents a rare glimpse of construction industry corruption in a developing country and provides polemic clarity geared to intellectually challenge readers in government and industry. Future work is required to explore and develop appropriate countermeasures to address the corrupt practices and behaviours.
Original languageEnglish
Article number05017006
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering
Issue number6
Early online date23 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


  • Corruption
  • Bribery
  • government officials
  • Developing countries
  • kickbacks


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