Corruption in Infrastructure Procurement - A Study Based on Procurement of Infrastructure Projects in Pakistan

  • Aqsa Shabbir

Student thesis: Phd


The main purpose of this research project is to bridge the existing knowledgegap in the empirical identification and understanding of the most frequentcorrupt actions and the causes behind during procurement of infrastructureprojects in Pakistan, in addition to exploring the ways to enhance institutionalbasedtrust between the participants of the procurement process. Consequentlythe study aims to provide a conceptual framework to control corruption ininfrastructure procurement while proposing the institutional trust-buildingmechanisms. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches are utilised in thisstudy to achieve this research aim. Quantitative research data is collected usinga questionnaire survey. A total of 450 questionnaires were sent to variouspeople engaged in procurement of infrastructure projects in Pakistan. Theresponse rate was 36.7% (n=165). The questionnaire comprises of two mainquestions; one is about the most frequent corrupt actions in traditional andPublic Private Partnership (PPP) infrastructure procurement processes whileother question asks about the perceived institutional trust-building mechanismsin context of infrastructure procurement market in Pakistan. Various appropriatestatistical methods, including Mean Ranking and ANOVA were utilised toanalyse the collected data. The questionnaire survey was followed by 15 indepth semi-structured interviews with a variety of stakeholders. Theseinterviews provided information on various causes of corruption and reasons asto why people do not for example report a known incident of corruption.A traditional content analysis approach was used to analyse the data collectedusing interviews. From the analysis a cyclical framework of corruption controlemerged, and this is outlined within the thesis. The goal of this framework is tofacilitate procurement stakeholders (individuals, groups, or organisations), toimprove their anti-corruption plans from project to project. This research studyhas filled the knowledge gap through identifying the top twenty potentialcorrupt practices in traditional and PPP infrastructure procurement processes inPakistan and explored the causes behind their occurrence. The study alsorecommends the solutions to mitigate this problem throughout the life cycle ofprocurement process. In addition, the study proposes the institutional trustbuildingmechanisms in the context of infrastructure procurement market inPakistan to cater for the likely loss in trust due to perceived level of corruptionin this sector. The study has also introduced a conceptual framework to controlcorruption in infrastructure procurement process in general and particularly inPakistan. The framework does not intend to introduce new alternatives butinstead builds on existing practices so that users can more easily adapt to theimprovement. The findings of this research are believed to be useful for allpractitioners who are either considering or currently involved in infrastructureprocurement process in Pakistan and trying to avoid or minimise the influenceof corruption.
Date of Award1 Aug 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorFrancis Fenn (Supervisor) & Margaret Emsley (Supervisor)


  • Infrastructure, Procurement, Corruption, Public-Private-Partnership, Pakistan

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