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Corruption and Unethical Behavior in Public Sector Organizations: A Specific Test of Social Learning Theory

Corruption and Unethical Behavior in Public Sector Organizations: A Specific Test of Social Learning Theory

Published January 27, 2016

Author Details


Corruption is one single drawback on development and growth of developing countries and sub-Saharan Africa is no exception. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has seen improvement in governance but this has limited influence on the level of corruption. United Nations report indicates corruption is still on the rise in public sector organizations in SSA despite improvements in democratic governance. This study is a model that explains why corrupt practices and malfeasant behaviors are prevalent among bureaucrats in sub-Saharan Africa. Drawing on social learning theory, this study posits that the propensity to engage in corruption is motivated by rationalization, socialization, and institutionalization of corrupt practices. On that basis, this study develops ten propositions based on social learning theory to explain the motivation behind corruption in public sector organizations in SSA. This study offers the concept for understanding corruption in public sector organizations in SSA while providing direction for future studies.


Corruption, social learning theory, Sub-Saharan Africa, Ghana


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