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Values alignment

Not everyone is the same as you, and not everyone shares your values.

The graphs below illustrate that individuals vary in their motivation and decision-making processes. This insight is important in designing an effective integrity framework.

Group A represents people who are unlikely to act corruptly regardless on circumstances, perhaps as a result of internal values or identity.

Group B represents people whose decision to act corruptly is dependent on circumstance. In ideal conditions, this group is unlikely to act corruptly. However the opposite is true if personal or environmental circumstances were conducive.

Group C represents a small group of people who are likely to act corruptly whenever they can get away with it. This group is driven by self-interest and tend to respond only to effective deterrence.

ACLEI has developed the graphs below to illustrate that individuals vary in their motivation and decision-making processes. This insight is important in designing an effective integrity framework.</p>
<p>Group A represents people who are unlikely to act corruptly regardless on circumstances, perhaps as a result of internal values or identity.</p>
<p>Group B represents people whose decision to act corruptly is dependent on circumstance. In ideal conditions, this group is unlikely to act corruptly. However the opposite is true if personal or environmental circumstances were conducive. </p>
<p>Group C represents a small group of people who are likely to act corruptly whenever they can get away with it. This group is driven by self-interest and tend to respond only to effective deterrence.

Graphs 1 and 2 indicate that in an immature corruption prevention system, a larger proportion of staff are susceptible to corruption (meaning corruption is much more likely to occur). Importantly, unless targeted anti-corruption measures are in place, this group will seek to compromise people in Group B.

Graphs 1 and 2 (above) indicate that in an immature corruption prevention system, a larger proportion of staff are susceptible to corruption (meaning corruption is much more likely to occur). Importantly, unless targeted anti-corruption measures are in place, this group will seek to compromise people in Group B.

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<p>Recruit for values that resist corruption (Group A)</p>
<p>Provide a work environment for staff in which high professional standards are valued—opportunities for corrupt conduct are minimised, and compliance with integrity measures is made easy (providing Group B with ideal conditions), and</p>
<p>Be prepared for the existence of the purely self-interested (Group C) by putting in place effective detection and deterrence measures.<br />

An effective integrity framework accepts the existence of each of these categories of people, and is designed accordingly to:

  • Recruit for values that resist corruption (Group A)

  • Provide a work environment for staff in which high professional standards are valued—opportunities for corrupt conduct are minimised, and compliance with integrity measures is made easy (providing Group B with ideal conditions), and

  • Be prepared for the existence of the purely self-interested (Group C) by putting in place effective detection and deterrence measures.

The goal of the integrity framework is to get an appropriate balance of measures, having regard to risk.

The ‘10-80-10’ model of employee  risk, the principle on which the ACLEI graphs are based, is widely discussed in fraud and corruption prevention fields. For further reading see also:

Rose-Ackerman, S. & Palifka, B (1999) Corruption and Government: Causes. Consequences, and Reform (2nd Ed.). Cambridge University Press, pp. 52-53

Tirole, J. (1996) A theory of collective reputations (with applications to the persistence of corruption and to firm quality). In The Review of Economic Studies (63:1), pp. 1-22

Key insight: Who are you protecting your agency from?