The purpose of this research project is to compile a comprehensive catalogue of theoretical frameworks on the causes of corruption. Over a course of 10 weeks, original research methods were used in an attempt to bridge the gap between contemporary, traditional, and evolving understandings of why bribes are offered and taken, and how this phenomenon is propagated on the individual, societal and organizational levels. A multi-disciplinary approach coupled with an extensive repertoire of published material, resulted in a concentrated general catalogue. Within this catalogue, the extent and nature to which these theories are applied to current understandings of corruption is emphasized. Compiled theoretical frameworks are also weighed on their strengths, weaknesses, and general impact on the current literature
The nature of this research project is unconventional in the sense that it occurred outside a research laboratory, outside an inherited dogma of thinking, and outside the typical set of skills learned in the classroom. Adapting to this taught me the merits of original thought and research, and made me more comfortable in untraditional, and difficult academic positions. This project also required a certain level of self-discipline in meeting self-set deadlines and expectations. Conducting proper original research from the absolute beginning stage, and creating a final product delivers an unrivaled sense of satisfaction. Also, realizing that I was among the few in the world working on a project of this nature, gave me a unique thrill that ultimately enhanced my experience. Pivoting away from a syllabic method of academic study requires a deep level of introspection in who you are as a student, and what you truly want from academic endeavors. This is a skill and experience rarely found in the routine of typical college work and is one that I am eternally grateful for.