Professor Erik Amnå says to news agency TT that the city's elite prioritised results, while toning down conflicts, seeing those who called attention to problems as stool pigeons, traitors.
The professor also says that the former mayor of Gothenburg, Göran Johansson, epitomises the "self image of Gothenberg". The Social Democrat mayor has been called the "strong man" of Sweden's second largest city.
Johansson himself says he is proud of the Gothenburg spirit, and sees no connection to bribery.
The commission says that the city must now start to keep better track of what positions its politicians and executives hold.