The grand challenge: Effective anti-corruption measures in projects

Jere Lehtinen, Giorgio Locatelli*, Tristano Sainati, Karlos Artto, Barbara Evans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


A grand challenge in projects involves employing anti-corruption measures effectively for dealing with corruption. Existing research is scattered across a wide range of disciplines and thus understanding of the effectiveness of anti-corruption measures in projects remains obscure. Focusing on construction projects, which are the most studied and affected by corruption, we aim to establish what kinds of anti-corruption measures are effective, and how. We use design-oriented research synthesis to systematically study existing empirical evidence related to anti-corruption measures in construction projects, found in management journals across various disciplines. Our study shows that there is scarce empirical evidence documenting the effectiveness of anti-corruption measures in projects. Nevertheless, our findings show that compliance, managerial, probing, reactive, and regulatory measures can be effective. The two main mechanisms explaining how the different anti-corruption measures are effective are enhanced transparency of project operations and incentivised stakeholders. We conclude with a research agenda focused on project governance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-361
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Anti-corruption
  • Construction
  • Design-oriented research synthesis
  • Project governance
  • Project management


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