Corruption and corporate and personal integrity are increasingly important in the global economy we live in today. Numerous national and multinational companies face serious cultural problems including corruption and integrity issues. There are several aspects to why corruption and lack of integrity is harmful to a country. In fact, corruption affects a countries politics, economy, society, and overall environment. First, accountable leadership in a corrupt country cannot develop causing the country to become even more corrupt. In addition, the corrupt countries economy suffers with the potential depletion of their national wealth. However, the damage of corruption on society is most damaging of all. Country corruption and unethical behavior diminishes trust in the government, politics, and leadership of their country. This in turn creates the potential for more unethical behavior and corruption in that society. Overall, the environment of that country suffers and only creates a domino effect of more unethical behavior and corruption across the spectrum.
The most and least corrupt countries for 2009 were based on the Corruption Perceptions Index at Transparency International. The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) measures the levels of public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories around the world to include the United States. This year’s CPI shows that Somalia was labeled the most corrupt country in the world with Afghanistan coming in second. In addition, the CPI stated that New Zealand was the least corrupt country in the world with Denmark coming in second.
Finding trends in corruption can be a very challenging level of measurement as there is an ongoing discussion on what corruption is truly defined as. In order to get the most and least corrupt countries the CPI rates the least corrupt and most ethical countries at the top of the CPI as 1 and the most corrupt and most unethical countries near the bottom at 180. In addition, CPI gives an overall ratio of corruption, 1 being the worst and 10 being the best.
In 2009 Somalia was ranked on the CPI at 180 with an index score of 1.1. This clearly shows that Somalia is a lawless country overwhelmed with corruption and unethical behavior in the business arena. In addition, this explains why Somalia has been on the hot seat for some time now with the pirates on the high seas stealing cargo ships. Afghanistan was ranked on the CPI at 179 with an index score of 1.3. One of the main reasons Afghanistan is so low is due to the fact they are currently in the process of establishing a solid government. Statistics have shown that during times of conflict, hostilities in a country and during times of development countries are known to have more corruption and unethical behavior. Afghanistan falls in these areas and in turn brings corruption.
In 2009 New Zealand was ranked on the CPI as a 1 with an index score of 9.4. Denmark was ranked on the CPI as a 2 with an index score of 9.3. This clearly shows that New Zealand and Denmark are two of the most ethical and corrupt free nations in the world.
Believe it or not, the United States is ranked near the top as one of the most ethical and corrupt free countries in the world. The CPI ranked the United States 19th among the world and provided an index score of 7.5. So no matter what we may feel about our government we still remain amongst the best and least corrupt nations on the globe.