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Does corruption grease or put sand in a system’s cogs? Essay

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Updated: Dec 14th, 2019

Introduction

Corruption is a common feature in many world economies. It is a word that is usually understood in negative terms by many once it is mentioned. However, research shows that there are two ways in which corruption is viewed.

There are those who see corruption as a boost to the growth of any system. Others see corruption as a hindrance to the growth of a system. These two views have elicited public discourses on whether corruption greases or sands the cogs of a system.

Grease the cogs aspect

When talking about to grease the cogs, one is essentially talking about the advantages of corruption. The first advantage is that corruption enables a system to avoid bureaucratic structures that would cause delays in the progress of a system. For instance, an innovative system may need faster processing of legal documentation like licenses and permits in order to proceed.

Government bureaucracy would cause delays and probably cost the system especially where time is a significant factor. However, through corruption, there will be faster processing for the requirements. Corruption will have served as an incentive to the officials to quicken the process. The second advantage is whereby corruption is used in avoiding uncertainty in any undertaking.

Through corruption, a system stays certain that its requirements will be met because it would have developed a mutual relationship with the corrupt officials. This is what is commonly called relationship conflict. It facilitates a system’s long term planning. It is also a mechanism for reducing uncertainty especially in those areas that have sluggish bureaucracies or low supervisory levels (Mahagaonkar, 2008).

There are problems that may come about from these advantages. First, it all depends on the corrupt officials when it comes to making decisions on who is to get the much needed service. This happens when the corrupt officials decide to be biased in selection.

This can lead to good projects not succeeding because the system may have a low bribing ability. It is also very doubtful for a system to depend on relationship conflict to keep away uncertainty because issues like secrecy and political stability may only allow short-term relationships (Campos et.al. 2010).

Sand the cogs aspect

Regarding the sand that cogs, we are basically talking about the disadvantages of corruption. Corruption in the first place hinders innovation or progress in any system. Many studies have shown that corruption prevents economic developments especially in systems located in developing countries and in those economies that are small and open.

Corruption affects adversely the accumulation of human capital. It has been estimated that when corruption increases by just one percent, it cause a corresponding reduction of three percent in the growth of any system. Corruption gives a lot of discretion to the bureaucrats. They become the ones to interpret regulations in such a way so as to get the maximum from corruption.

They cause forced delays so that corruption figures increase. This in turn slows down the progress of development. This argument disputes the fact that corruption promotes growth or as it is put, greases the cogs of a system, instead it slows down development or it sands the cogs of a system (Hodge et.al. 2009).

Conclusion

It is clear from these arguments that corruption is multifaceted. It can grease or sand the cogs of a system depending on how each system handles it. One can see that corruption reduces delays by by-passing bureaucratic procedures.

But others see that too much corruption increases delays as the corrupt bureaucrats buy time to reach high bribery figures. However, corruption is largely harmful to the growth of any system. Efforts should therefore, be made to reduce bureaucratic delays so as to reduce corruption levels.

References

Campos et.al. (2010) Whither Corruption? A Quantitative Survey of the Literature on Corruption and Growth. [Online] Available from .

Hodge et.al. (2009) Exploring the links between corruption and growth. [Online] Available from .

Mahagaonkar, P. (2008) Corruption and Innovation: A Grease or Sand relationship? [Online] Available from .

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"Does corruption grease or put sand in a system’s cogs?" IvyPanda, 14 Dec. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/does-corruption-grease-or-put-sand-in-a-systems-cogs-essay/.

1. IvyPanda. "Does corruption grease or put sand in a system’s cogs?" December 14, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/does-corruption-grease-or-put-sand-in-a-systems-cogs-essay/.


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IvyPanda. "Does corruption grease or put sand in a system’s cogs?" December 14, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/does-corruption-grease-or-put-sand-in-a-systems-cogs-essay/.

References

IvyPanda. 2019. "Does corruption grease or put sand in a system’s cogs?" December 14, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/does-corruption-grease-or-put-sand-in-a-systems-cogs-essay/.

References

IvyPanda. (2019) 'Does corruption grease or put sand in a system’s cogs'. 14 December.

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