Ten More Ways to Bring Anti-Corruption Discussions into the Classroom International Anti-Corruption Day – December 9

Anti-Corruption DayEarlier this year we posted Ten Ways to Bring Anti-Corruption Discussions into the Classroom, a selection of ways to bring this far-reaching and crucial topic into the classroom. According to the UN, every year $1 trillion is paid in bribes while an estimated $2.6 trillion is stolen annually through corruption—a sum equivalent to more than 5 per cent of the global GDP. In recognition of International Anti-Corruption Day on the 9th of December, here are ten more ways to bring anti-corruption discussions into the classroom.

  1. Make moral decisions in the morning: A study from Harvard University and the University of Utah found that the time of day affects our ability to resist moral temptations. The study done with undergraduate students in the US showed that they were less likely to engage in unethical behaviour on the tasks performed in the morning than those performed in the afternoon.
  2. Watch, discuss, or even create short videos: McCombs School of Business in the US created Ethics Unwrapped, a series of dozens of short animated videos that explore behavioural ethics, business ethics, and basic ideas in ethics education used as part of the Giving Voice to Values (GVV) project.
  3. Look into where the money is going: Several initiatives exist internationally to empower and assist civil society groups in analysing and influencing public budgets in order to reduce poverty and improve quality of governance, including the International Budget Partnership and The Open Budget Initiative, which look at government budgets, and Publish What you Fund, which focuses on aid transparency. Others focus on the private sector including Publish What you Pay, a network of civil society organisations campaigning for transparency in the extractive industries.
  4. Look into what is happening in your country and get engaged with local organisations: The Global Corruption Barometer surveys the general public’s attitudes towards and experiences of corruption in dozens of countries. The Corruption Perceptions Index ranks countries by their perceived levels of corruption as determine by expert assessments, and The Bribe Payers Index looks at the likelihood of companies paying bribes to win business abroad.
  5. Use a case study to start the discussion: Vasilia Kilibarda and Adam Wayz from Northwestern University won the recent PRME/GVV award for Outstanding Case Study on Anti-Corruption for their case, “Through the Eyes of a Whistle-Blower: How Sherry Hunt Spoke Up About Citibank’s Mortgage Fraud” including a video supplement and teaching notes.
  6. Start a petition for change: Change.org allows individuals to post a public petition to one or more decision makers, asking them to do something towards a specific cause.
  7. Create a movement: The Thai Youth Anti-Corruption Network is a group of more than 4,000 Thai university students from more than 90 universities, recognised by the World Economic Forum. They aim to raise public awareness on the corrosive effects of corruption in Thai society.
  8. Offer your students a way to hone their skills: The Ethikum certificate is awarded by a state agency in Germany for students with outstanding engagement and competencies in ethics and sustainability. Forty per cent of all certificates in the state have been awarded to students of Pforzheim University, and in particular to students from the Business School.
  9. Take a deeper look at your schools. Check My School in the Philippines allows students to evaluate public schools across the country and to check the money budgeted for desks, textbooks and other supplies. The project was realised with the aim of improving service delivery in public education and promoting social accountability and transparency.
  10. Celebrate success: The Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado partnered with the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs College of Business to create the GE Johnson Award for Marketplace Ethics. The award honors companies who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to create and maintain a fair marketplace through ethical business practices. Students from the university nominate companies and help companies to assess whether they meet the criteria for the award.

For more take a look at the PRME Anti-Corruption Toolkit, which provides guidance and additional resources for incorporating the topic of anti-corruption into the business school’s curriculum. Share your experiences in the comments section below.

Ten Ways to Bring Anti-Corruption Discussions into the Classroom

banner_img2According to the UN Global Compact, “corruption is recognised to be one of the word’s greatest challenges.” In the private sector corruption impedes economic growth, distorts competition, and presents serious legal and reputational risks. It is also a challenge that students will be faced with in the workforce post–graduation, so it is important that they not only understand the topic, but are able to recognise it, and explore ways to prevent, diminish or remove, its negative effects. There are countless ways to bring this far-reaching topic into the classroom. Here are ten.

  1. Use online platforms: The internet is home to a growing number of websites that allow students to explore the topic in different ways. For example to http://www.ipaidabribe.com or http://www.publishwhatyoupay.org. Ask students to start a blog, or contribute to a class or school blog, focused on current corruption issues, policies and solutions.
  1. Conduct a survey: Ask students to conduct field research on a particular topic, such as young peoples’ perceptions of corruption, or HR directors experience with or perceptions on anti-corruption training. Students can then analyse and present the data collected.
  1. Use mini cases and dilemmas: Several sites provide short case studies and dilemmas that can be presented to students to discuss and debate. The PRME Anti-Corruption Toolkit has a series of mini cases throughout, as does Giving Voice to Values.
  1. Explore real cases: Involve students in exploring small cases of corruption that they have experienced in the workplace, either as group discussions or through individual reflection papers. Engage alumni as well to come back into the classroom to share their experiences.
  1. Research projects: Engage students in a variety of research projects to explore the topic in more detail. This could be designing a law or company policy regarding corruption and/or whistleblowing, or taking a look at current guidelines and principles on the subject, in particular in their country. The UN Global Compact Anti-Corruption Tools Inventory has a wide range of anti-corruption resources that can be used.
  1. Company specific: Explore as a class how different companies approach corruption and bribery specifically. What is the company policy? How does it work in practice? What would you as an employee do if you encountered an incident? Have students look at the companies they are hoping to work for post graduation and even look into having students visit the companies to see these policies in action first hand.
  1. Organise an event: This could be a debate where students explore questions such whistleblowing or what exactly constitutes a bribe. This could also be part of a larger event which brings together individuals and organisations working in the field of anti-corruption. The 9th of December is the International Anti-Corruption Day aimed at raising awareness of corruption and the how to combat and prevent it.
  1. Bring in Guest Speakers: Connect with individuals working on anti-corruption in local, national, and international businesses and invite them into the classroom to share lessons and present current or past cases they have handled and how they were approached.
  1. Dilemma Scenarios: Jointly produced by the UN Global Compact and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, thefightagainstcorruption.org, is a series of six interactive learning modules to further students’ understanding of corruption and the UN Convention against Corruption as it applies to the private sector. Each short interactive video lasts 5 minutes and provides real situations that employees are likely to find themselves in as well as questions along the way to help that employee make the right decisions.
  1. Look at your school’s polices: Take a look with students at how your school approaches the topic of corruption. What kinds of policies are in place? Is there training for employees? What could be done to strengthen the policies and raise awareness about this?

For more take a look at the PRME Anti-Corruption Toolkit which provides guidance for incorporating the topic of anti-corruption into the business school’s curriculum. Share your experiences in the comments section below.

A Toolkit for embedding Anti-Corruption guidelines into MBA curriculum

Anti-Corruption Working Group Meeting in Rio 2012

The PRME Working Group on Anti-Corruption in Curriculum Change has developed an innovative new resource for integrating anti-corruption values into the core curricula of leading business schools. Launched at the 3rd Global Forum, the Anti-corruption guidelines for curriculum change, or Anti-Corruption “Toolkit,” is part of a four-year project dedicated to providing a teaching framework that prepares students for the ethical, moral, and practical challenges that they will face in the marketplace.

According to the project coordinators, Matthias Kleinhempel and Gabriel Cecchini of IAE Business School’s Center for Governance and Transparency in Argentina, “The toolkit provides guidance and step by step approaches on successful guidelines, methods, techniques, mechanisms and processes for effective changes in responsible management curricula. By drawing lessons and experiences from several sources around the world, the Toolkit describes various methodologies and strategies. The toolkit is easy to use, it is constantly being updated and can be adapted to local use.”

What will you find in the toolkit?

The toolkit utilizes a mix of core concept readings, detailed case discussions, primary sources and documents, and scenarios devised for class discussion. Each of the ten study modules includes a long list of resources that allow faculty of different countries to design a course that is appropriately suited to the necessities of his/her students. The modules include;

 (1)   Core Concepts: The recognition and framing of ethical dilemmas and social responsibility and their importance in strategic decision making.

(2)   Economics, Market Failure and Professional Dilemmas:Economics and market failure in its various forms and how it is manifested in corruption.

(3)   Legislation, Control by Law, Agency and Fiduciary Duty: Many questions of agency leading to corruption arise from improper gifts, side deals and conflicts of interest.

(4)   Why Corruption, Behavioral Science: This module addresses the question: What does Behavioral Science teach us about how to design a performance incentive system that encourages integrity as well as productivity?

(5)   Gifts, Side Deals and Conflicts of Interest: Legislation and cases to understand gifts, side deals, and conflicts of interest and thelying and obfuscation that is often used to conceal them.

(6)   International Standards and Supply Chain Issues: Frameworks and analytic methods for discussing the problems that companies face in the need to respect moral standards across borders, local customs (e.g., giving and receiving gifts) and bribery.

(7)   Managing Anti-Corruption Issues: Designing, implementing, and overseeing corporate ethics and compliance systems in response to local and global compliance regimes.

(8)   Functional Department and Collective Action Roles in Combating Corruption: The functional departments examined include human resources, marketing, accounting and finance.

(9)   Truth and Disclosure, Whistle blowing and Loyalty: These topics raise issues of timing and context as towhat point and under what circumstances an agent or employee is permitted to blow the whistle on corruption.

(10)   The Developing Global Anti corruption Compliance Regime: Topics include (a)global public policy principles and how are they promoted/enforced and (b) links between corruption and forms of state failure such as deprivation of human rights and environmental degradation.

How can others use this resource?

The basic idea of the Toolkit is to present a buffet of ideas and resources on how to take education on anti-corruption to the next level. It presents up-to-date content in a comprehensive way and supports its delivery in the classroom. Faculty can choose those elements deemed most useful in revising their curriculum or creating a new stand-alone course. The corresponding chapters outline their importance, define learning goals and questions, provide a listing of relevant literature, cases and dilemmas address.

Who is currently implementing this project?

More than ten schools are currently involved in the pilot phase of the Toolkit. Taking place in the second half of 2012 and first half of 2013, this process will enable adaptation of lesson for local use and improve core elements. The participating pilot schools include HSBA Hamburg School of Business Administration (Germany), University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur (Switzerland), Bangalore University (India), IAE Business School (Argentina), Copenhagen Business School (Denmark), AESE Business School (Portugal), Lagos Business School (Nigeria), Silesian University of Technology (Poland), Faculty of Business Management – Open University (Tanzania), and Audencia Nantes School of Management (France).

How can others get involved?

Once the pilot phase concludes in the first half of 2013 and the feedback from pilot schools has been received and processed, the Toolkit will be openly available to all interested institutions around the world through an online platform. In early 2013 we will post some further blogs with some of the lessons learnt from this process.

The toolkit will also be presented by Ron Berenbeim of NYU Stern and a member of the PRME working group at the upcoming International Anti-Corruption Conference.

You can access the toolkit online.

6 things IAE is doing around Anti-Corruption

Prof. Matthias Kleinhempel is Director of the Center for Governance and Transparency at IAE Business School, Austral University in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Center explores these issues across the Latin American region and offers concrete tools to practitioners to help them create, enhance and deliver effective compliance programs. “Business schools can play a crucial role in helping companies, in particular those in countries with a challenging environment. We have found that the key is to work with the CFOs and the compliance officers of MNEs and local companies to give them a platform for discussion and exchange of Best Practices.  Business Schools can work as facilitators for collective action; one of the most promising tools in the anti-corruption battle.”

Prof. Kleinhempel has a background in the business sector and has been with the Center since it began in 2008. “My interest in this area really began because of the strong emphasis that the university puts on values.  I saw how companies put in place a whole range of norms and systems to instil values in a company but continuously find failure with this approach. The key is not to keep putting in rules but to change the values of the people at the top, which influence the people in the rest of the organisation.”

The Center is working on a range of anti-corruption programmes, including:

  1. Collecting Best Practices: The Center conducted surveys of good practices and compliance programmes among both the largest 300 companies (by revenue) across Argentina and Latin American subsidiaries of MNEs. The studies provide insights into the current status of business ethics at big companies in Argentina and wider Latin America as well as possible improvements to the field. “Most companies say they have a formal compliance system which has been put in within the last 5 years which mean that these issues are definitely gaining momentum within the business sector.”
  2. Teaching Best Practices: “Many of the companies who participated in the surveys noted that, in order to improve further, they need more training”. IAE provides a range of business ethics and compliance courses/modules in all open enrolment programs. Senior managers are invited into classrooms to discuss real ethical dilemmas that they have faced in their businesses with the students. Students are given ethical dilemmas that they have to solve, present in class and then discuss. The Center is also working to incorporate ethics into a range of other courses, including Finance. “At the end of the day, it is about decision making. We try to raise awareness and train students to incorporate business ethics as a permanent criterion in their decision making framework.”
  3. Focused Programmes: IAE offers a programme called “Good Practices in Business and Compliance” aimed at Board Members, C-level executives which covers the most recent academic and business trends around corporate governance, risk management and compliance as well as the success factors of a good practice programme. The Center also works on the design and implementation of compliance programmes for business firms, including codes of conduct and putting help hotlines in place.
  4. A Learning Community and Discussion Platform: In June 2010, the Center launched the first Compliance and Best Practices Network aimed at scholars, practitioners and organisations that are devoted to the study, implementation and follow up of compliance programmes.  Bi-monthly workshops are organised with CFOs and Compliance Officers to discuss topics related to compliance and exchange ideas on how to approach specific problems, including the review of successful collective action examples from across the region.
  5. Foster and Promote Collective Action: The lack of trust among companies is a big obstacle for collective action. These commitments have to start in a “light” version, which can be improved and updated to include more content as trust builds over time. “What companies like is to have independent instances to discuss suspicions regarding their partners in the collective. Universities and, in particular, the Center can provide a safe, neutral environment for companies to discuss these issues. It is difficult to show what kind of impact we are having, but the compliance officers keep coming back.  We have only started this journey.”
  6. PRME Working Group on Anti-Corruption: The Working Group is focused on developing best practices and encouraging curriculum change through the incorporation of a business ethics approach with compliance as one of its key components, offering an integrity-based view with an impact on good business practices. The Working Groups is currently developing a toolkit for an anti-corruption curriculum framework for MBA students. The next meeting of the working group will take place on December 5th in conjunction with the 1st PRME Latin America Regional Meeting (December 6-7) hosted by IAE.

 For more information:

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