Public-Private Partnerships and Corruption in Developing Countries

Business and Professional Ethics Journal 30 (3-4):253-268 (2011)
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Abstract

In this paper we evaluate the ethical aspects of a public-private partnership (PPP) for the production and distribution of electricity in a particular context, i.e.,in a developing country characterized by a high corruption rate. In general, multinational enterprises (MNE) are considered suspect in developing countries by their own populations and by others, especially in those countries perceived as corrupt. A second source of suspicion concerns the privatization of utilities: utilities such as electricity and clean water play an essential role in people’s lives, thus, leaving their production and distribution in the hands of for-profit companies may seem imprudent, particularly with respect to the poorest people. On the basis of a questionnaire submitted to managers of a privatized utility company in Cameroon, this case study suggests that the combination of these two sources of suspicion does not automatically lead to negative outcomes.

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Geert Demuijnck
EDHEC Business School

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