Teaching Case - High Road or Low? Transparency International and the Corruption Perceptions Index

High Road or Low? Transparency International and the Corruption Perceptions Index


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  • Product Description

    The challenge of spurring economic development in poorer nations had perplexed wealthy donor nations during much of the post-colonial, post-World War II period. During the 1990s, there developed a consensus that outside financial assistance was necessary but not sufficient to jumpstart economic growth. In this context, concern increased about entrenched government corruption in business transactions. The establishment in 1993 of the nonprofit organization Transparency International (TI) reflected such concern. TI sought to encourage honest dealings among businesses and governments throughout the world. This case frames the tactical decisions faced relatively early in its history as TI sought to have as much impact as possible. Specifically, it focuses on a decision the organization faced as to whether to adopt a potentially controversial country-by-country "index" of global corruption. The index was guaranteed to attract substantial media attention--a plus for TI--but questions about the methodological underpinnings of such an index, as well as concern that it might alienate some with whom TI was seeking to build coalitions, made its publication a risky step for the fledgling organization.

    Learning Objective:
    The case can be used as the basis for discussion of performance measurement issues, as well as strategy for nonprofit advocacy organizations.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: August 1, 2002
    Teaching Plan: Available with Educator Access
    HKS Case Number: 1658.0
    Case Author: Kirsten Lundberg
    Faculty Lead: Sanjeev Khagram
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 27
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    _year: 2000-2009
    _pages: 25+
    _geography: US & Canada
  • Warranty Information

    /review/1658.0.EducatorCopy.pdf, /teachingplan/1658_2.pdf