This module is a resource for lecturers  




The study of corruption has in the past focused on the public sphere, where violations such as public officials misusing public funds or accepting bribes typically came under scrutiny. Private sector actors in this scenario were generally understood to be the bribe givers, and thus corruption that occurred entirely within the private sector was not addressed or regulated. However, private sector corruption has come to the forefront of attention in recent decades, because it poses somewhat different challenges, and also contributes considerably to the problems created by corruption. Private sector corruption is the focus of the present Module. In particular, the Module addresses some of the most common forms of private sector corruption, and discusses their causes and consequences, as well as possible responses and measures to prevent corruption in the private sector. It explains how corruption adversely affects all businesses, from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to multinational corporations, from domestic to foreign companies, and from recently founded to long-established companies. The Module also discusses the role of the private sector in fighting corruption more broadly in society, particularly in collaborative efforts such as collective action projects and public-private partnerships. The Module builds upon the discussions on public sector corruption in Module 4 of the E4J University Module Series on Anti-Corruption and the discussions on business integrity in Module 11 of the E4J University Module Series on Integrity and Ethics.


Learning outcomes

  • Describe the forms and manifestations of private sector corruption
  • Understand the causes and consequences of private sector corruption, and the role of a culture of corruption
  • Critique different responses and measures to address and prevent private sector corruption
  • Explain the differences between public and private sector corruption
  • Describe and assess the role of the private sector in the fight against corruption, including through public-private partnerships and collective action initiatives
Next: Key issues
Back to top