Transparency International

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from one of Transparency International’s national chapters. The Anti-Corruption Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International and funded by the European Union


What roles can human resource (HR) management play in the fight against corruption in companies in the public and private sector (for example, recruitment processes and background checks, evaluation systems and incentives, the controversial integrity test, policies of not retaliation for whistleblowers, and so on)?


  1. The role of HR in promoting corporate integrity
  2. Mainstreaming integrity in HR processes
  3. References


A previous Helpdesk answer has focused on corruption and anti-corruption in HR management in the public sector. This answer focuses more specifically on the private sector.


Human resource (HR) management is often left out of the formal ethics programmes that manage ethics through codes of ethics, memos or internal policies. Yet, HR has a key role to play in promoting business ethics and ensuring that such programmes are not just window-dressing exercises aimed at improving the company’s external image. As HR practices affect the daily life of employees and influence many key systems and processes that underpin business operations, HR provides many entry points for promoting the anti-corruption agenda and fostering an ethical organisational culture, including sensitive HR processes such as recruitment, training, performance appraisals, reward, and compensations and reporting. Such an approach is likely to improve the effectiveness of the overall ethics programmes and ensure that the company’s anti-corruption commitment is fully integrated in day-to-day organisational practices.


Marie Chêne, Transparency International, [email protected]


Finn Heinrich, Ph.D., Transparency International, [email protected]




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