PRME Working Group on Anti-Corruption in Curriculum Change
On the occasion of the 3rd Global Forum, the PRME Working Group on Anti-Corruption in Curriculum Change launched comprehensive anti-corruption guidelines for curriculum change for business schools and management-related academic institutions around the world. This project is supported by Siemens as part of the Siemens Integrity Initiative.
The guidelines, which are integrated into a single “toolkit”, provide the tools to address the ethical, moral, and practical challenges that students will face in the marketplace. The toolkit provides a menu-style list of various topics, from which instructors can select and organise stand-alone courses or individual course modules.
Corruption “the misuse of entrusted power for private gain” as defined by Transparency International is recognised to be one of the world’s greatest challenges. It is a major obstacle to sustainable development as it diverts resources from their proper use. It has considerable impact on the private sector thwarting the promotion of necessary competition between major and minor brands leading to the formation of monopolies, which, not only hurt the consumer but represent serious legal and reputational risks, undermining the integrity of all involved and damaging the fabric of organisations and society on the whole.
In the current academic environment, corporate responsibility and sustainability have entered but not yet become embedded in the mainstream of management-related education. The Principles of PRME therefore emphasise a timely global call for business schools and management-related academic institutions world‐wide to gradually adapt their curricula, research, teaching methodologies and institutional strategies to the new business challenges and opportunities.
In December 2008, inspired by the importance of bringing the Anti‐Corruption principle of the UN Global Compact into the academic debate, a group of business schools decided to form a working group on this issue. After issuing a first guidance report , it is proposed to increase the number of Working Group member/institutions and to work on the following objectives.
Goals and Activities of the Working Group
Teaching: Develop best-practices and encourage curriculum change effected 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.
Curriculum change through a two-sided strategy: on the one hand, a vertical one encompassing self-contained, independent business ethics modules in all open programs comprising lectures (on cases, technical notes, etc.) and experienced practitioners as on-campus speakers, case and discussion sessions on dilemma situations with compliance officers as well as short programs focused on recent academic and business trends concerning best practices and compliance. On the other hand, a horizontal strategy through the introduction of business ethics aspects/dimensions into existing academic courses, in particular governance and strategy issues (including stakeholder and trust theories) within business policy courses and compliance risk as a block in risk management (ERM) in finance courses.
Research: Promote research and dissemination of knowledge with a practical emphasis in the field of Business Ethics and Transparency, seeking to contextualize the discussion of these issues within each specific geographical region, offering concrete tools to practitioners to help them create, enhance and follow-up effective compliance programs.
Partnerships/cooperation with companies and relevant institutes/organizations in cooperation with the UN Global Compact Anti-Corruption Working Group
The goal of the UN Global Compact Working Group on the 10th principle  - a multi-stakeholder working group - is to provide strategic input to the Global Compact’s work on anti-corruption and to define the needs of the business community in implementing the 10th principle. The Working Group aims to contribute to greater coherence by supporting the alignment of existing initiatives and avoiding the duplication of efforts.
In line with the goal for greater coherence it is proposed that the two Working Groups on Anti-Corruption of PRME and the GC seek ways to collaborate in the following ways:
- Promotion of integrity pacts/collective actions amongst leading business firms in their sectors following the guidelines of successful initiatives through individual and sector projects in cooperation with business chambers representing both local and multinational companies.
- Pursue joint initiatives and conferences with relevant business ethics institutes/organizations and The World Economic Forum/PACI with the aim of exchanging experiences and expanding the impact of the working group’s activities.
- Creation of a website to provide companies and academic institutions and relevant organizations the group’s research results, teaching materials with timely updated relevant information through specific channels such as newsletters, blogs and webcasts; updated database with information about the field in the form of glossaries, academic papers, press articles, events calendar, code of conduct manuals and links of interest.
- Setup of local/regional Compliance and Best Practices networks having as members academics, practitioners, and organizations committed to the study, implementation and follow-up of compliance and integrity programs. Along with the former, implementation of an exchange and networking platform for CEOs, CFOs, and COs on compliance through their participation in workshops, webinars, on campus meetings and presentations coordinated by the group.
Working mode and first deliverables
- Periodical conference calls/videoconferencing with AC Working Group contact points to follow up implementation of planned activities.
- Working Group on Anti-Corruption Conference in May 2011 at IAE Business School in Buenos Aires with the aim of presenting the group’s first results concerning membership status, curriculum change, and progress of initiatives concerning partnerships with companies.
- Piloting of the Anti-Corruption Toolkit at 14 schools in 2012-2013 with meeting to review outcomes and refine Toolkit in July 2013 in Berlin.
The Working Group will be coordinated by Prof. Matthias Kleinhempel of IAE Business school and Ron Berenbeim, in close coordination with the PRME Secretariat. To join the Working Group, please contact GCecchini@iae.edu.ar and PRMESecretariat@unprme.org.