For a long time and for many people, corruption has been considered as a necessary evil, a way to do business in many countries. Indeed corruption has been an ingredient of the social order for centuries. This publication authoritatively covers the extent of corruption, its causes and consequences, its geographical and sectoral spread, and existing legislative instruments as well as business initiatives to combat corruption.
Indeed, corruption figures high on the list of unethical business practices, not only because it is an unfair way to gain an advantage in the competitive battle but also because it requires lying and dissimulation. Corruption is also socially irresponsible because it is giving priority to private gain over the common good and is excluding from public services to which they are entitled the poor who cannot pay a bribe to obtain those services; furthermore, the amounts diverted to corruption are such that they could make a substantial contribution to development. Last but not least, eliminating corruption in business can only rest on an act of leadership inspired by ethical values. Just as the fish rots from the head, departing from corrupt practices requires a morally healthy head.