Corruption - Incentives, Disclosure and Liability

BUS452 Corruption - Incentives, Disclosure and Liability

Vår 2023

Høst 2023
  • Topics

    This course aims at enhancing students' understanding of the phenomenon of corruption, the problem's persistence, its consequences, and the strengths and weaknesses of various strategies to deal with it. It is a course in applied economics with an emphasis on criminal law and moral choice, and students will learn about corruption risks, institutional challenges, legal regulation and the role of compliance systems. Corruption is associated with legal grey zones and challenging conflicts of interest. The topics addressed demand ethical reflection around individual and institutional choices and the broader consequences of alternative strategies. The course is relevant for the private and the public sector, future leaders, advisers, accountants, board members, investigators and researchers alike. The lectures will describe empirical results, economic theory and criminal law with a heavy use of examples and facts about law enforcement problems, at the national and international level.

  • Learning outcome

    By the end of this course, students will be able to


    • explain why corruption distorts markets and hinders development
    • distinguish different forms of corruption and corruption-related problems 
    • describe the landscape of anticorruption strategies and institutions and judge their strengths and weaknesses
    • explain the function of criminal justice systems in controlling corruption and shaping social norms
    • understand the concept of compliance systems in private and public organizations and its norm-generating function


    • gauge corruption risks in a market, government sector or organization
    • describe different players' opportunity to reduce the risk of corruption in business-related contexts 
    • examine and explain the causes of suspected corruption


    General competence

    • understand the ethical dilemmas associated with corruption and become better prepared for confronting them
    • debate the role and ethical responsibility of international players in corruption and anticorruption

  • Teaching

    There will be one lecture a week in the period mid-January to mid-April, altogether 14 lectures. The contents of the course will be covered with short videos in addition to the lectures. 

    Four of the lectures will be used for case-based dilemma-training. Students will be tasked to prepare in groups for one of the these training sessions. 

    Generally, the course is set up for active learning, practical examples combined with theory, dialogue, and clear learning aims. 

  • Credit reduction due to overlap

    There is no obvious overlap with other courses but it fits well together with master courses in the sustainability BUS track, especially 'BUS465 Corporate Crime: Detection and Prevention' and BUS469 'Corporate liability and sustainable markets', and complements well the master courses on public procurement (BUS467) and corporate social responsibility (ETI450). 

  • Assessment

    The final grade will depend on the results of four different tests, three shorter assignments and one 3 hour home exam, each to be conducted individually (and submitted as an individual). 

    The four tests and their importance for the grade: 

    1. Assignment on empirical assessment of corruption-related problems using governance indicators (20% of grade). Assignment handed out by 31 January. Deadline on Thursday 10 February. 

    2. Multiple choice test on facts, terms and theory - digital (20% of grade). This test will be held during  lecture hours the second week of March (week 10) but it can be done from wherever as long as you have proper internet connection. The exact date and time will be announced on the Canvas course website early January. 

    3. Ethics assignment - similar to dilemma training exercises organized as part of the course (20% of grade). Assignment handed out on 23 March. Deadline on Tuesday 5 April. 

    4. Three hour home-exam; solving a complex business-related situation and explain the problem (40% of grade). In format, the exam is similar to former exams (to be shared on Canvas). 

    The four tests address different components of the course (one test done means one component completed). All tests will be submitted in Wiseflow. The grade will be calculated automatically as a result of all four results.  

  • Grading Scale

    Grading scale A-F

  • Literature

    Textbook (mandatory): Susan Rose-Ackerman and Bonnie Palifka. 2016. Corruption and Government. Causes, Consequences, and Reform. 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press. 

    We will use this book only and combine with other materials (journal articles, reports and cases) to be provided on the course website. Readings will be specified for each lecture. 

    Other relevant books (not mandatory):

    Søreide, Tina. 2016. Corruption and Criminal Justice: Bridging Economic and Legal Perspectives, Edw. Elgar Publishing  (two first chapters will be made available on the course website)

    Lord, Nicholas. 2016. Regulating Corporate Bribery in International Business: Anti-corruption in the UK and Germany. Routledge.



Spring. Not offered spring 2023.

Course responsible

Professor Tina Søreide, Department of Accounting, Auditing and Law. 

PhD Candidate Kasper Vagle, Department of Accounting, Auditing and Law.