Corrupt Practices in the Construction Industry: Survey of Ghanaian Experience

Ernest E. Ameyaw, Erika Pärn, Albert P.C. Chan, De Graft Owusu-Manu, David John Edwards, Amos Darko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Citations (Scopus)


Across the globe, corruption presents a major risk that reduces construction project performances by inflating costs and reducing the quality of the infrastructure commissioned. In developing countries, corruption stifles economic development and engenders social inequality. Using a structured questionnaire survey to elicit direct knowledge and lived experiences of construction practitioners, this study uncovered the prevalence and forms of corrupt practices within the developing country of Ghana. Research findings illustrate that habitual corruption and unethical behavior prevail among 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 in addressing 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. This 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 corrupt practices and behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number05017006
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering - ASCE
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Bribery
  • Construction industry
  • Corruption
  • Developing country
  • Kickbacks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial Relations
  • General Engineering
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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