The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction


Gatot Subroto

Why and How (Fear of) Corruption Hinders Projects, Evidence from Indonesia

Supervisors: Dr Efrosyni Konstantinou (Principal) and Dr Vedran Zerjav (Subsidiary)
Start date: 23 September 2019

My PhD research raises the issue of corruption around project management. By taking a case study in Indonesia, a country that is aggressively fighting corruption, this research attempts to explain how corruption impedes the success of a project. Unlike other studies that examine how corruption occurs and presume that actors are involved in corruption, my research assumes that actors are trying to do their best to maintain integrity. However, the efforts to protect themselves from corruption may influence the scope, cost, time, and quality of projects. 

The research seeks to investigate “the other way” corruption impacts project and project management. To elaborate more operationally, the objectives are to analyse why and how corruption hinders the projects. 

Investigating technology-based projects in the finance ministry also adds even more interesting features. Because of its strategic position, the fiscal institution (and the projects taking place in it) often get high political attention. Besides, the nature of IT-based projects, which is intangible and complicated to be supervised and audited, places the actors in an even more vulnerable position (of being accused) of corruption.

This study contributes to knowledge by constructing a new theory that in a "corrupt external context," corruption will still potentially hamper projects, even if the actors are committed to maintaining their integrity. More interestingly, considering the increasing tendency of the "projectisation" of government programs, it can be predicted that public policy and management in the future will largely rely on project management.