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Deyneka O.S., Krylova D.V., Maksimenko A.A. (2020). Ethical-psychological portrayal of a Russian corrupt official. National Psychological Journal, [Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal], (13)4, 31-47 –. doi: 10.11621/npj.2020.0403


Background. Portraying a typical Russian corrupt official is important as a preventive measure to apply within the system of human resources on civil service. 

ObjectiveThe study is aimed at creating a psychological portrait of civil servants working in the environments where corruption is possible in order to reveal their attitude to corruption and to the means used to eliminate it.

Design100 municipalcivil servants from the city of Kostroma took part in an anonymized survey with a standardized questionnaire. The survey encompassed civil servants of all levels: heads of departments and their deputies (top level), department managers and their deputies (mid level), minor officials.

ResultsAnalyzingtheresults obtained within the survey one can conclude that for top-level civil servants the most important advantages of municipal civil service are the ability to help people and society in solving their problems, as well as substantial pension and good psychological climate. For mid-level managing positions the main advantages are psychological climate, that comes first, and, subsequently, the ability to help people. Minor officials’ scale of values prioritizes material gain over everything else. Instead of understanding corruption in the broad sense, as abuse of authority, the way the concept of corruption is represented in the law, civil servants view it more narrowly – as bribery. Themostcommonexcusesforbribery, according to the civil servants questioned, include protection and the bosses being interested in “extra” profit as well as the situation of mutual bribing and financial problems caused by low salary. The barriers for bribery, in civil servants’ opinion, are moral norms and the fear to be punished or fired.

Conclusions. The analysis of literature on the subject, as well as the empirical study conducted, allows to single out the most characteristic features that a corrupt civil servant has. Corrupt civil servants are highly extravert, they are very eager to please people, and have a variety of addictions. The values of power and dominance contribute to making corruption acceptable, while the primary role of care and universalism lower its level.

Received: 06/20/2020
Accepted: 11/06/2020
Pages: 31-47
DOI: 10.11621/npj.2020.0403

Sections: Social Psychology;


Keywords: psychology of corruption; portrayal of a Russian corrupt official; typology of corrupt civil servants; ethical-psychological portrayal; motivation of corrupt behaviour

Available Online 30.10.2020

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For citing this article:

Deyneka O.S., Krylova D.V., Maksimenko A.A. (2020). Ethical-psychological portrayal of a Russian corrupt official. National Psychological Journal, [Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal], (13)4, 31-47 –. doi: 10.11621/npj.2020.0403

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