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Binions, O (2019) A study of corruption using the Institutional Analysis and Development framework with an application to the bidding phase of infrastructure procurement, Unpublished PhD Thesis, Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, University College London.

  • Type: Thesis
  • Keywords: bidding; competition; complexity; conflict; contracts; corruption; infrastructure project; procurement; psychology; simulation; sociology; trust
  • URL: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10071513/
  • Abstract:
    Infrastructure projects are particularly vulnerable to corruption due to the complexity of processes and relationships between private and public entities, and the large-value contracts involved. Corrupt agreements can affect any phase of an infrastructure project, and the outcomes include reduced competition, poor-quality construction or infrastructure that does not meet value-for-money criteria. This PhD thesis brings together insights from economics, sociology and psychology to develop a broad framework of corruption with the focus on individuals, their actions and the settings in which corruption occurs. This framework is then applied to the bidding phase of physical infrastructure procurement. The method used to consolidate and analyse disparate theories and models of corruption across different disciplines is Elinor Ostrom's Institutional Analysis and Development framework. Key variables of the corruption phenomenon are identified and organised using the IAD framework, and two models are developed. The first is a game-theoretic model analysing the importance of social networks and trust between corrupt partners and the intermediaries who facilitate corrupt exchanges. The second is a simulation model of decision-making processes in corrupt agreements based on a conflict of social norms and individual self-interest. The second model proposes a method of linking legitimacy of institutions, group behaviour status quo, and social network connections, with selfseeking behaviour. Case studies are then developed based on documents filed to support prosecutions under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 1977. The proposed methods of corruption reduction are based on organisational controls and collectiveaction methods.