Companies increasingly recognise that integrity is good for business. Yet bribery and corruption persist. Large-scale corporate scandals show that much remains to be done to tackle corruption in the business sector. Based on four case studies, this paper shows how Transparency International is supporting companies worldwide to develop anti-corruption systems, which can help prevent corruption and boost business, so that more companies reap the benefits of high integrity and transparency standards.
The business case for corporate integrity is clear. Not only do the costs of corruption outweigh the benefits in the long term, strong integrity and transparency programmes are also proven to be an important element for improved business performance. Measures to detect and prevent corruption help promote fair competition, minimise losses that can be incurred as a result of corruption, and increase access to capital. They also protect and enhance companies’ reputations, which can unlock new commercial opportunities and create a competitive edge.
The active and transparent implementation of high integrity standards also demonstrates a company’s commitment to broader ethical values and corporate responsibility. Companies have an important role to play in tackling corruption worldwide and their individual and collective actions can make crucial contributions to levelling the playing field.
Corruption in business can increasingly be detected and prevented by using tools and approaches like those profiled in this paper. Whether large and international, or small and local, companies are increasingly interlinked - via the supply chain, consumers, competitors, business associations, regulators and the general public. All of these links can play a role in tackling corruption, meaning any company can make a difference.
The diversity of the business sector is reflected in Transparency International’s many approaches to addressing business integrity. Our Business Integrity Programme supports companies by aiming to reduce corruption through measures that increase transparency, accountability and integrity in business practices worldwide. With our national chapters, partners and allies, we harness our experience, in many different contexts, to develop the best tools and approaches for beating corruption and bolstering integrity and transparency.