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Tackling bribery and corruption in the Middle East: perspectives from the front line

Janice Goldstraw-White (GWAssociates, Stone, UK)
Martin Gill (Perpetuity Research and Consultancy International (PRCI) Ltd, Tunbridge Wells, UK)

Journal of Financial Crime

ISSN: 1359-0790

Article publication date: 3 October 2016




The aim of this paper is to see how senior managers in Middle East, an area frequently associated with high levels of bribery and corruption, tackle these in their organisations.


A qualitative approach was employed, using interviews with 66 employees responsible for bribery and corruption management in their organisations. The research instrument used included both open and closed questions which allowed participants to expand on their answers. Qualitative data and some descriptive statistics are used to analyse and summarise interview findings.


Over the past few decades, governments have tried to control bribery and corruption via legislation. However, this is a contested area and many argue that legislation is an inappropriate mechanism. This paper assesses the implications in one geographical area, the Middle East. As well as exploring current approaches for tackling corruption, it discusses how culture and tradition affect organisational practices. We show that whereas the majority of organisations have been committed to stamping out bribery and corruption, some have been willing to tolerate such illegal behaviours.


This paper informs academics, policy-makers and those responsible for managing bribery and corruption about the challenges faced by those in the Middle East.



The authors would like to thank Mike Adlem for spearheading this study and Aidi Burns for his help in facilitating contact with interviewees. We would especially like to thank the 66 respondents who gave up their time to offer their views. We would also like to thank colleagues Charlotte Lawson, Professor Rob Mawby and Alix Godfrey for their help in preparing this paper.


Goldstraw-White, J. and Gill, M. (2016), "Tackling bribery and corruption in the Middle East: perspectives from the front line", Journal of Financial Crime, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 843-854.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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