Siaoe Case Study
itself. Indeed, the CPIB is strongly guided by the fervent anti-corruption stance of People’s Action Party
(PAP) founder Lee Kuan Yew, who said that “Singapore can survive only if Ministers and senior ofcers areincorruptible and efcient…Only when we uphold the integrity of the administration can the economy work
in a way which enables Singaporeans to clearly see the nexus between hard work and high rewards” (inChua, 2002).
The rst two levels of the CPIB’s organizational culture are successful only because they are consonant
with the bureau’s most basic assumptions. According to Schein (1985), it is these undergirding beliefs that
have the strongest inuence on organizational culture, as they are a “natural part of ‘the way we are’ or ‘the way we do things around here’” (Miller, 1995). Fortunately for the CPIB, these beliefs exist in a coun
-try where corruption prevention is seen as a necessity. This has been clearly expressed by former CPIBdirector Chua (2002), who said that their well-intentioned anti-corruption projects would not have workedas well in a context where corrupt practices are accepted. As he has emphasized, “we in CPIB can only beas effective as the government wants us to be. CPIB has the structures, systems and processes that wereallowed to work, given the right operating environment created by a strong political will.” Another thing that may have added to the CPIB’s success is that it is able to sustain a coordinated com-munication campaign as regards its anti-corruption image. As McNair (2003) argues, it is necessary formembers of political organizations to be “on message” all the time. Otherwise, public relations disastersare more likely to occur. Certainly, the CPIB has been able to do this with its well-planned informationbarrage regarding its anti-corruption initiatives that tap various communication channels, including print
media (e.g., the coffee table book, Swift and Sure Action: Four Decades of Anti-Corruption Work One), on
-line materials (e.g., the CPIB virtual heritage tool), and public presentations (e.g., conferences speeches ininternational anti-corruption conventions). As the PERC and TI surveys have shown, these activities havereinforced the CPIB’s positive image, thereby helping legitimize the strong enforcement of their mandate(Jing, 2007).
Organizational culture can be communicated at the level of artifacts and objects.
This is manifested in
CPIB’s measures that seek to involve both civil servants (e.g., SSS, WIT, and TEC) and the Singaporeanpublic (e.g., GeBiz and Cut The Red Tape Movement) in the ght against corruption
.Organizational culture can also be communicated in espoused beliefs and values.
This is expressedin the CPIB’s mission-vision statement, core values, and codes of conduct, all of which are said to be
strongly inuenced by the organizational founder, Lee Kuan Yew.
Beyond artifacts and objects and espoused beliefs and values, it is really the organization’s basic as-
sumptions that most prominently defne its culture.
In the case of the CPIB, this has been the unques-tioned belief that Singapore needs corruption prevention if it is to be a globally competitive country. It isthe strong political will borne out of this that enables the successful realization of the CPIB’s mandate.
A well-coordinated communication campaign helps in promoting an organization’s image.
The CPIB issuccessful in doing this because it stays “on message” about its strong anti-corruption stance by dis-seminating information through books, online materials, and public presentations.