Corruption - Incentives, Disclosure and Liability

BUS452 Corruption - Incentives, Disclosure and Liability

Autumn 2020

Spring 2021
  • 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


    • distinguish different forms of corruption
    • explain why corruption distorts markets and hinders development
    • 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 various contexts
    • examine 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


    Dilemma-training (cases) 

  • Credit reduction due to overlap

    There is no obvious overlap with other courses. However, the master course 'BUS465 Corporate Crime: Detection and Prevention' will address themes that complement the topics addressed in this course

    Also, it complements well with courses on public procurement. 

  • Assessment

    Due to the ongoing Corona pandemic, the assessment for the spring semester 2020 has been changed.


    Three tests will all matter for the final grade:

    1. Individual assignment risk prevention (20% of grade)

    2. Individual assignment ethics (upon dilemma exercises) (20% of grade)

    3. 4 hour home-exam (basic understanding, a case on corporate liability, and a multiple choice test) (60% of grade)


    Original assessment form spring 2020 - cancelled

    Four tests will all matter for the final grade: 

    1. Individual assignment risk prevention (20% of grade) 

    2. Multiple choice test of basic terms and understanding (in Wiseflow)  (20% of grade) 

    3. Individual assignment ethics (upon dilemma exercises) (20% of grade) 

    4. Three hours written school exam (basic understanding and a case) (40% of grade) 

  • Grading Scale

    Grading scale has not been changed in spring 2020:


  • Literature

    Journal articles, book chapters, reports, and case materials to be provided on the course website. 


    Additional reading (not mandatory):

    Søreide, T. 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.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language
English.  However, it is possible to submit assignments and write the exam in Norwegian.

Spring. Offered spring 2020.

NB! The assessment form has been changed due to the ongoing corona pandemic.

See assessment section for details.

Course responsible

 Professor Tina Søreide, Department of accounting, auditing and law