Corruption in the Egyptian Construction Industry

Ahmed N. Ibrahim, Bilge Erdogan, Yasemin Nielsen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Construction is one of the most susceptible industries to corruption worldwide. The presence of corrupt actions within construction undermines project management strategies and impacts vital project and industry elements, costing the industry billions worldwide. NGO reports suggested that Egypt has high levels of corruption; however, there is a lack of academic research in this area which investigates corruption in Egypt, and specifically in Egyptian construction. Nevertheless, construction corruption studies were carried out in several other countries, which informed this paper. The paper aims to provide a novel account regarding corruption in Egypt and its construction industry, focusing on corruption levels in the industry, the underlying causes and impacts of corruption, and identifying corruption forms within construction project stages. To achieve this, firstly an extensive literature review was carried out to present a corruption definition as well as discussing corruption in construction, and corruption in Egypt. Secondly, 18 semi-structured interviews (40-90 minutes each) were conducted among Egyptian construction professionals operating at strategic, tactical and operational levels, who represent contractors, clients and engineers from the public and private sectors. Thematic analysis of the recorded transcripts revealed corruption has become a part of the Egyptian culture caused by need, greed and lack of ownership. There is a deeply rooted corruption problem in Egypt’s construction industry, where public sector projects are the most vulnerable to corruption. Furthermore, the data suggests corruption impacts are experienced at the project, industry, and the country levels. Despite its impacts, construction companies perceive corruption as part of doing business.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication 14th Organisation, Technology & Management in Construction Conference
Place of PublicationZagreb
PublisherCroatian Association for Construction Management
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9789537686086
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2019


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