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Additional Streams of Bribery

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Middle class Americans might hope to generate some extra income by running a home-based business, taking a second job or managing some rental property, but the struggling Russian economy provides less options. The only way for many to get by is krutimsya, meaning “we hustle [for bribes].”

According to the National Public Radio program “All Things Considered”, corruption is rampant throughout Russia:

In Chelyabinsk, corruption has worsened in the past decade. Ask anyone in the city how much he or she makes, and the likely answer is somewhere between $200 and $600 a month.

Russia is expensive — really expensive — even in remote areas, so how they live on that is questionable…Few live on their declared salary. People get paid an additional amount under the table, or they take bribes…Bribes can get you out of the army and, if you pay enough, into universities — especially in highly competitive fields like economics, law and medicine.

Chelyabinsk

© Flickr user Oleg Sh

The Methodology Blog has covered the process improvement issues in Russia before, but this story helps clarify the relationship between ethics and survival. Not surprisingly, stakeholders value their own safety and well-being above that of others. When their livelihood is threatened, it seems reasonable that Russians or anyone else will take whatever steps necessary to protect and feed their own families.

Your workplace probably is not dealing with widespread poverty and corruption, but employees may find themselves caught between helping the organization and helping themselves. If the pattern of work contains drudgery, quality will suffer and productivity will decline. Ultimately, employees will begin to despise their jobs, which not only makes them ineffective, but impacts morale throughout the office. Ensuring stakeholder satisfaction is critical to the continued existence of any company.

If you are concerned that your workers are less than satisfied or if there is a direct conflict between individual and organizational needs, consider talking with a business consulting company with experts in process improvement and facilitation. Programs can help identify workflow challenges and the needs of stakeholders. With the help of outside experts, you can build a better organization—which places you, your employees and your customers in control of your shared success.

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