Staff rotation

Employees are shifted between assignments and jobs at regular intervals.


Staff rotation is a tool that aims at reforming organisational structures and procedures in order to create a less fertile ground for corruption. As an anti-corruption / integrity measure, the idea of staff rotation is to regularly change the persons in charge of vulnerable positions (e.g. procurement).1


Long-term relationships between bribers and staff members create a particularly advantageous environment for bribery, as corruption is built on trust and reciprocity. Staff rotation can prevent such long-term relationships being built in the first place. This increases uncertainty about the other person’s behaviour and thus reduces the temptation to engage in unethical conduct.1

Furthermore, staff rotation reduces the monotony of a job and thus improves the work culture. This can increase work motivation and reduce the incentive for unethical behaviour.


  • Does your organisation have a clear organisational structure and job descriptions in place to manage staff rotation programmes? (Also check tool Job descriptions)


As shown in this example for a public institution, the following steps should be taken when implementing a staff rotation scheme:2

  1. Definition of  ‘hot staff’ is any officer within an organization who had been charged or convicted of corrupt practice or received most complaints on corrupt practices. For the first step, ‘Hot Staff’ currently sitting at ‘Hot Spot’ or doing ‘Hot Job’ will be transferred and cannot be posted at any ‘hot spot’ or ‘hot job’ anymore.
  2. Definition of ‘Hot Job’ is a post whereby the job itself may lead the officer to an opportunity to make illegal gain or benefit out of his duty. For an example, an officer whose duty is to approve license or permit. He may be bribed by the applicant who is in need of the license or permit but they do not have the merit. In order to get approval, they are determined to bribe the officer so that they can get the license or permit. Therefore, officers placed at ‘Hot Spot’ and officers doing ‘Hot Jobs’ will be rotated every three (3) years.
  3. Another factor to be determined is the “Hot Spot’ whereby it differs from one agency to another. An entry point may be a hot spot for all enforcement agencies but it differs from one agency to another. For instance Port Klang and Kuala Lumpur International Airport may be a ‘Hot Spot’ for agencies like Customs and Immigration but borders entry points may be a ‘hot spot’ for Road Transport Department and the Police as well.
  4. After rotating the ‘hot staff’, the job rotation focus will be on the officers who had been working at the same place for a period of more than 5 years. These officers will be transferred internally. For instance within the same building but to another unit, section or division.
  5. The next step will be a transfer externally to the same agency within the state for a close service department/agency or to another department for open services department or transferable services. Finally, the Job Rotation will be constantly operating by identifying officers to be transferred according to the duration of being at one place three (3) years for sensitive job and five (5) years for non-sensitive job.


Abbink, K., 1999, Staff rotation. A Powerful Weapon Against Corruption, Laboratorium für experimentelle Wirtschaftsforschung Uni Bonn, Germany,, accessed 07.12.2015, 2013, How to Implement an Effective Job-Rotation Program in your Company,,, accessed 03.12.2015, no year, Job Rotation: Keys to Successful Job Rotation,,, accessed 03.12.2015


Management Study Guide, 2013, Job Rotation – Meaning and its Objectives, Management Study Guide,, accessed 03.12.2015

Mohsan, Mussarrat Nawaz and Sarfraz Khan, 2012, Impact of job rotation on employee motivation, African Journal of Business Management

Serra, 2012, Anti-corruption policies, Lessons from the lab, Southern Methodist University, USA


  1. Abbink, 1999, Staff rotation. A Powerful Weapon Against Corruption, Laboratorium für experimentelle Wirtschaftsforschung Uni Bonn, Germany,, accessed 07.12.2015
  2. NKRA Against Corruption, no year, Hot Job Rotation, National Key Result Areas (NKRA) Against Corruption,, accessed 03.12.2015
Last updated 12 April 2019

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