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Humans have been indulging in evil activities since the very beginning of times. The history has seen many criminal activities and evil doings which have not only shocked and put the whole making to shame but also stunned and surprised the society. Different kinds of criminal mindsets can be found in every society. There are thieves, robbers, and even murders in even society, who disturb the state of peace and harmony and cause disrupt in the otherwise peaceful state. These criminal minds are the reason that law enforcement agencies exist. These law enforcement agencies and departments make sure that these criminal minds stay in limits and do not dare to disturb the harmonious state of society.
One of the most common crimes of all the times is corruption. The term "corruption" refers to the indulgence into fraudulent or unfair activities. Most o, f the times, this term is used for the people in power when they conduct fraud and unfair means to gather money. Corruption is not the dilemma of a single society, in fact, can be found in almost every society, whether big or small. Theorists, scientist, philosophers, and psychologists, have always tried to find an explanation and reason behind the occurrence of crime. Similar is in the case of corruption. Psychologists, especially working in the area of criminology, have always tried to find the reason behind the act of corruption and why people indulge in such activities. In this regard, they have formulated different theories and hypothesis that try to explain the mindset that triggers corruption. Some of these theories and hypothesis have been explained as under.
One of the most significant theories or explanations in respect of the corruption or the indulgence of individuals in acts of corruption is the “Slippery Slope” Theory. As the name suggests, Slippery Slope theory refers to a constant, slippery, speedy slope that goes in the downward direction and takes anything with it that comes at its top. The Slippery Slope Theory or Argument, also known as (SSA), is a common term used in psychology, case law, logic, critical thinking, especially in political rhetoric, is a consequential logical fallacy that explains that a first small step, intentional or accidental, may lead towards a chain of related events, culminating up to some significant effect, which is mostly negative in nature.
Relationship between ‘Slippery Slope” and gratuities
The “Slippery Slope Argument” tends to be the most appropriate and probably the most explanatory theory for the relationship between gratuity and Slippery Slope. It is also known to be the most common argument presented for “no gratuity” policy in various organizations (Fitch and Normore (2011). This argument states that the acceptance of even the smallest gift or benefit will push the employee or the person in power towards an unavoidable slide of serious corruption. The only difference that occurs in accepting a free cup of coffee or a bill of $1000 lies in the degree of wrongness between both the gratuities.
The “Societies-at-large Hypothesis” is very closely related to the “Slippery Slope Theory”, especially in regards to the acceptance of gratuities or gifts in the exchange of services. This hypothesis is based on the notion that society, as a whole, is itself responsible for the deviant behavior of the individuals in power. The society provides multiple opportunities to the politicians, police officers, and other officers in a powerful position to stray from the right path. An excellent example of this scenario can be seen in the form of a citizen providing a free meal at his restaurant to a police officer for fulfilling his duties responsibly.
Structural or Affiliation Hypothesis
"Structural of Affiliation Hypothesis" as the name suggests basis its notion on the foundations of affiliation with the other fellows or officers. This hypothesis throws light on the likelihood that the leaders, politicians or the officers in a position of power essentially set an example for the juniors or inexperienced people in the field. The seniors in the field play an important part in building up the perceptions of their juniors regarding the concepts of corruption. An example of this hypothesis can be seen in the form of junior officers being paired with veteran officers, which affects the behavior of these junior officers in a positive or negative way. The juniors follow the paths and patterns set by their seniors. The Structural or Affiliation Hypothesis states that the seniors at every place, whether it’s in politics, governmental departments or any law enforcement agencies, the senior members of the organization set a culture which is followed by the junior or the newcomers in that organization. If that culture is based on ethics and morality, it will also have a positive influence over the newcomers. Otherwise, they will only learn bad things and even get into those practices.
Rotten Apple Hypothesis
“The Rotten Apple or Bad Apple Hypothesis” refers to the idea the only those individuals who have a low moral character the individuals with lesser ethical values are inculcated in the police services. Even such people are also deemed fit for serving in the government offices and holding higher political seats, although these characters or traits are not clearly visible before the hiring or selection process. Melig (2012) throws light on this hypothesis in his research that an individual or a police officer that seems fit according to the rotten or bad apple theory can be a great source of nurturing a corrupt environment.
Melig, C. (2012). Government graft: A call for justice (Doctoral dissertation, Utica College).
Normore, A. H., & Fitch, B. D. (Eds.). (2011). Leadership in education, corrections and law enforcement: A commitment to ethics, equity, and excellence. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
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