Corruption and Bureaucracy: Role of Managerial Traits


Corruption is the abuse of the entrusted power for personal gain. It can be categorized into three major aspects: grand corruption, petty corruption, and political corruption. Vietnam is one of the countries experiencing massive corruption in its public sector. Corruption and bureaucracy are global controversial issues which are alarming in numerous governments’ sectors (Gans-Morse 174). Generally, corruption in Vietnam is characterized by contradicting and negative bureaucratic decision-making, financial unpredictability, and weak legal infrastructure. According to Moene and Søreide, while petty corruption has significantly decreased in the country, high-level corruption has increased in the recent years (162). Creating more corruption laws and intensifying the existing law is one of the major ways to boost Vietnam’s economy.

Optimal Policy Solutions

Vietnam has signed specific bilateral policies to exchange experience, share information, and effectuating the anti-corruption programs. These agreements include a partnership and cooperation agreement with the EU in 2012; cooperation agreement in anti-corruption measures with Malaysia in 2010; joint committee with japan in 2008 to prevent ODA-related corruptions; and development partnership with the United Kingdom in 2006.

These agreements and other anti-corruption policies have greatly and consistently resulted in a strong return in the Vietnam economy for the past two decades. However, convoluted administrative procedures, pervasive corruption, and insufficient infrastructure in Vietnam’s economy are troubling investors, thus, hindering rapid economic growth (Moene and Søreide 162). Generally, a strong economy is most likely to be corruption-free. The best corruption policy lies within the individuals’ consciousness. Therefore, everybody is often in the best place to identify and echo other employees’ suspicious conduct and other parties such as suppliers and contractors.

All citizens, irrespective of social classes and job groups, are responsible for corruption control and ensuring all public funds are spent as intended; Maintaining hospitals, schools, roads, and other essential public services and projects. First, public sector leaders in Vietnam are the most responsible for preventing corruption in their respective job capacity. Principle officers have mandatory reporting duties which they should uphold.

This is because they are leaders with the best understanding of their respective work environment in identifying and mitigating specific risks. They also establish and maintain corruption preventive culture, promoting public sector values and code of conduct policies in line with those of the Nations (Ashyrov 59). Majorly, the country relies on the productivity of its public sectors to boost its gross domestic products. A corrupt principal secretary promotes unethical working environment, resulting in selfish gain and eventual stagnation of Vietnam’s economy.

While measuring and controlling corruption is vital, it is also a challenging task. There are various ways of measuring corruption, and each has its own advantages and challenges. Also, each method is geared toward a specific problem. Various corruption measurement approaches can be classified into direct and indirect methods. The direct method is centered on collecting corruption evidence-based information through standardized and statistical procedures. This exhausts the official data such as conviction figures, reported cases, electoral scrutiny findings, and experience-based sample surveys (Pei 221).

On the other side, indirect methods are based on corruption perceptions rather than gauging the actual occurrence. The indirect method can be preferred since the actual corruption occurrence is difficult to measure. Experts mainly use this method to analyze the composite data and corruption trends to gauge organizations and nations. The direct methods for measuring corruption are subjective and based on the perception levels of corruption among citizens, civil servants, and investors.

Consequently, the perception survey has been a successful tool in measuring corruption; however, it cannot be used as a proxy corruption measure since human opinions are prone to many challenges. Their corruption ideas may not be primarily informative activities of anti-corruption bodies but can also influence perceptions of individual ideas. These bodies’ activities are essential in the corruption fight, although headlines they generate about new corruption cases may alter the individual perceptions (Pei 221).

Additionally, the media around the connection with the release of the perception-based corruption measurements may chase away donors and investors. This can result in a detrimental effect on Vietnam’s economic development and high levels of poverty. For policy-making purposes, direct methods are the most reliable approach in producing the most detailed corruption information.

Proposed Policy Change

There is no one particular asserted strategy for eradicating corruption. Many countries such as: Vietnam, have made vital steps in fighting corruption; however, some practitioners still promote hidden corruption. Curbing corruption is a collective responsibility for both citizens and the government. First, impunity can be best punished by the law. Law enforcement is vital in ensuring the corrupted practitioners are punished to break the impunity cycle (Ashyrov 59).

Civil society can support the law enforcement process by promoting initiatives such as transparency international’s campaigns to create stern policies on punishing corrupt civil servants. Secondly, focusing on reforming public administration and finance management, strengthening agencies’ auditing role have achieved voluminous impact than public sector reforms on curbing corruption. Access to information increases the government sectors’ responsiveness and simultaneously has a positive impact on Vietnam’s public participation.

Empowering Citizens on anti-corruption-based issues is also vital in the fight against corruption. There are assumptions; corruption is only propagated by politicians in government institutions, which is not the case. However, the basic roots of corruption are irresponsible citizens (Nhung). Boosting citizens’ demand for anti-corruption and empowering them to have the government response is a better approach that promotes trust between government and citizens. Government should have policies which help in sensitization of people against corruption in the country.


In summary, corruption is an enemy of Vietnam’s economy. Setting anti-corruption policies are instrumental in the nation’s growth. However, it is plunged by a paradox: actors positioned in the most critical and responsible positions are the ones promoting corruption. Corruption is best controlled at the background level by the responsible citizens in Vietnam; high profile policy is maintained by collective responsibility. To enhance a tremendous growth in gross domestic progression (GDP) of Vietnam’s economy, the country needs to effectuate various anti-corruption principles.

Works Cited

Ashyrov, Gaygysyz. “Role of managerial traits in firm-level corruption: evidence from Vietnam.” Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 27, no. 1, 2019, pp. 52–72. Web.

Gans-Morse, Jordan et al. “Reducing Bureaucratic Corruption: Interdisciplinary Perspectives On What Works”. World Development, vol. 105, no. 1, 2018, pp. 171-188. Elsevier BV. Web.

Moene, Karl, and Tina Søreide. “Corruption control.” Crime, Law and Social Change, vol. 66, no. 2, 2016, pp. 147–63. Web.

Nhung, Nguyen Cam. “World economy and Vietnam in 2016, outlook for 2017 and some policy suggestions for Vietnam.” VNU Journal of Science: Economics and Business, vol. 35, no. 1, 2019. Web.

Pei, Minxin. “How not to fight corruption: lessons from China.” Daedalus, vol. 147, no. 3, 2018, pp. 216–30. Web.

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DemoEssays. "Corruption and Bureaucracy: Role of Managerial Traits." December 26, 2022.