The Roots of Governmental Corruption in China: An Organizational Perspective

Ling Zhou, Sam Houston State University

By examining the role that democracy plays in anti-corruption campaigns, this paper explains the cause of corruption in China based on the "political-administrative" dichotomy. This paper first discusses practices and experiences of three nations/regions including: India, the nation that claimed "model of democracy for developing countries" but haunted by inefficiency and corruption of government; Hong Kong, who experienced the dramatic change from a rotten civil service system to the cleanest governing body among the world during 1970s, throughout which the nature of its colonial government hadn't changed a bit; and United States, whose experience reveal that democracy can both stand against and for corruption depending on circumstances. The paper then looks into the situation and characteristics of the corruption problem in China. Attempt will be made to answer the question: "is it a regime problem or an organizational malfunction?" Theories of organization and administration will be used to evaluate the current governmental structure of China. The classical theory will be used to examine the internal checking mechanism. The behaviorist perspective will be used to examine the motivation for corruption in the governmental setting of China. The principle-based perspective will focus on a more culture-related examination. As conclusion, a more administration oriented, instead of policy or legal oriented, anti-corruption scheme is suggested.

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Updated 05/20/2006