Companies that operate internationally are exposed to a range of legal and business risks associated with corruption. This module analyses these risks and discusses ways in which companies can respond.

With a particular focus on bribery risk and anti-bribery laws, this module explains why companies need compliance strategies, and why compliance has become one of the buzzwords of global capitalism.

But for companies that want to do something to manage the risk of bribery, it’s not always easy. You’ll assess the challenges companies face, and how such challenges are dealt with by different companies and in different sectors.

Module Lead: Professor Elizabeth David-Barrett

What you’ll learn

You will learn about the bribery risks that companies face and how those are dealt with, both in theory and in practice.

Starting with a tour of anti-bribery legislation, you will look at enforcement around the world, and how companies have responded to this by putting anti-bribery and corruption compliance procedures in place.

You will look at the particular risks which surround public procurement and government contracts and zoom in on the pharmaceutical sector as an example of the risks faced by a specific sector and how large companies have responded.

Companies do not have to be the victims of corruption, and you’ll examine a range of tools that can be used to manage and mitigate the risks, notably collective action.

This module focuses on the day-to-day realities of doing business in difficult environments, and how governments have tried to control corruption using laws and enforcement, with mixed results.

You’ll give further thought to theoretical frameworks such as rational choice theory, principal-agent theory and the development of norms and culture, as you analyse why corruption is a risk to business in its dealings with the public sector, why tough laws are seen as the answer, and the importance of leadership, culture and political will.

By the end of the module, you’ll be able to:

  • explain the corruption risks companies face, and how those vary in different parts of the world
  • demonstrate an understanding of how companies have responded to the challenge of corruption, and in particular, bribery and anti-bribery laws
  • assess the effectiveness of corporate responses to corruption, both in theory and in practice.

Types of assessment may include:

  • a quiz (20%) – you’ll take an online quiz on anti-bribery laws and enforcement trends
  • project work (30%) – selecting a business sector of your choice, you’ll identify the key corruption risks a company in that sector faces and present those risks on a clear and engaging poster
  • a written assessment (50%) – you’ll write a report briefing the board of a company that conducts business in several countries around the world on the bribery risks it faces and how these can be mitigated.