Making Change Happen

[Author of box 23.6 is Sami Faltas, The Netherlands]

No two defence organizations face the same problems of integrity and corruption. Respectively, integrity building initiatives may require different levels and types of effort, from minor adjustments in a particular process, perhaps focused on increasing the transparency and integrity of the procurement procedure, to comprehensive endeavours aimed at enhancing the integrity of all core defence business processes and changing the general attitudes and behaviours of the people in the organisation.

This chapter is focused on the latter case. It provides the reader with an understanding of tried change management strategies and processes, with their respective strengths and weaknesses. It also informs the reader of likely pitfalls and suggestions of how to approach the challenges of creating and implementing integrity building programmes.

The design of such a programme is based on a solid understanding of the current status and trends in defence integrity and corruption risks, commitment, vision and strategy.

Assessment of Current Status

Frequently, leaders of the defence organisation initiate change under the pressure of parliamentary hearings or public opinion, related to a particular instance of corrupt behaviour. Much too often they want to demonstrate quick results, while the initiated change has only a temporary impact and yields meagre positive results, if any.

Therefore, it is strongly recommended to assess the status of integrity before embarking on the design of an integrity building programme. Such an assessment should lead to:

  • Identification of the areas and defence activities involving corruption risks;
  • Understanding of the reasons for actual or potential corrupt behaviour;
  • Insight into perceptions and attitudes of the military, other MoD personnel and society regarding corrupt behaviour; and
  • Estimation of the readiness to accept integrity measures and change.

    In addition, a comprehensive and well structured assessment of defence integrity, involving the widest community of stakeholders, will contribute to:

  • Understanding of causality and interdependencies among integrity enhancement measures and a variety of practices;
  • Insight into who might be the likely allies and opponents of integrity building measures; and
  • Identification of potential agents of change.

    Studies of internal and public sources, focused discussions with people from inside and outside the defence establishment, structured questionnaires and interviews are used to assess the current status. The NATO self-assessment tool and questionnaire—one of the early results within the NATO integrity building initiative—can be particularly useful in this initial assessment. Box 23.1 provides initial information and references on this tool, available to any country and defence establishment, for adopting an anti-corruption agenda.

   ... For the full text of this chapter see the accompanying file below.


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