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2022/2023  KAN-CCMVV1460U  Corporate Misconduct and Fraud Detection

English Title
Corporate Misconduct and Fraud Detection

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 60
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Gudrun Johnsen - Department of Accounting (AA)
Main academic disciplines
  • Corporate governance
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 11-02-2022

Relevant links

Learning objectives
Upon successful completion of this course, students should have a deeper understanding of:
Students should have a deeper understanding of:
-the economic and political system we live in,
-the pitfalls and consequences of corporate misconduct for individuals and the society that we live in.
-the areas of research, teaching and careers that Business Schools and Law schools focus on.
Acquire knowledge and skills to:
  • Understand the interactions between economic and legal incentives that aid or deter corporate misbehaviour
  • Draw policy lessons from corporate misconduct
  • Discuss and debate the current business affairs and trends in financial markets.
  • Identify the economic importance of corporations and financial institutions and be able to understand and predict to some degree the economic effects of their failure.
  • Assess the role of government for efficient operation of corporations and financial markets for the good of society.
  • Analyze the key functions and interrelations of financial markets, corporations and government
Prerequisites for registering for the exam (activities during the teaching period)
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved (see section 13 of the Programme Regulations): 2
Compulsory home assignments
Prospectus for an essay/investigative report - topic needs to be approved by professor
Essay or an Investigative report on a corporate scandal

Oral presentations etc.
In class presentation
Peer to peer group grading

The student will not have extra attempts to get the required number of compulsory activities approved prior to the ordinary exam. If the student has not received approval for the required number of compulsory activities or has been ill, the student cannot participate in ordinary exam. Prior to the retake the student will be given an extra attempt. The extra attempt is a 10 page home assignment that will cover the required number of compulsory activities. If approved, the student will be able to attend retake. Please note that students must have made an effort in the allocated assignments thoughout the course. Students that do not participate in the assignments (no show/U) are not entitled to the extra assignment and will have to wait until the next ordinary exam to complete the course.
Corporate Misconduct and Fraud Detection:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance, see also the rules about examination forms in the programme regulations.
Individual or group exam Individual oral exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 2-4
Size of written product Max. 20 pages
Definition of number of pages:

Groups of

2 students 10 pages max.
3 students 15 pages max
4 students 20 pages max
Assignment type Essay
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
15 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

Final oral exam on all investigative reports handed in by the students

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

“Free market capitalism” and democracy are in crisis around the world due to inter alia inequality, misinformation, and lack of trust. Fragmentation and silos of the media, market concentration and large, public corporate scandals have contributed significantly to this development. This course aims to disentangle the complex business environment, made up of interactions between economic and legal incentives that aid or deter corporate misbehavior. Students will analyze high profile corporate scandals and carry out a peer-to-peer discussions on the scandals, draw lessons from them and formalize possible policy responses. The lectures will cover the sectors and platforms that are the building blocks of the business community and form the frame around which scandals may occur. The basic topics include financial decisions of individuals and corporations, consumer finance (including mortgages, student loans, insurance, and savings), financial markets, corporations, and their governance, the role of disclosures and regulations, political economy and government institutions, and the role of the media. Students and relevant guest lecturers will analyze recent and current events and policy debates throughout the course as they appear in the media during the time of the course. The approach will be rigorous and analytical but not overly mathematical. Visitors with relevant experience will enrich the discussion.


The course draws on disciplines in the Social Sciences, Economics, Business and Law. and is accessible to all students, undergraduate or graduate, independent of their background, major, or field.


We interact routinely with corporations, the financial system and the government. Students will get training in dissecting confusing jargon and relevant incentives of economic agents to be able to assess the validity of statements they encounter in the media about corporate opportunities. This course will make students savvier and enhance their understanding of the workings of key parts of the economy and of the political system.


The course will maintain a big picture perspective, but also delve into details of each case. Students will have the opportunity to interact with and ask questions to individuals from across the economic and political spectrum. Many topics that will be touched upon are covered in more detail in other courses across CBS, so students will potentially be able to find new interests and passions.


Description of the teaching methods
The course will be in a format of lectures and discussions, with external guests visiting on a regular basis.
Feedback during the teaching period
Receiving feedback during the course will possible, either during class discussions or during teacher´s office hours.
Student workload
Lectures 30 hours
Preparation 176 hours
Further Information

This course is intended to train students in assessing current affairs; reading news about corporations in the media - drawing links between government policy, vested interests, and business outcomes for firms, their clients, suppliers, and society at large. 

Expected literature

The course textbooks are:

Edmans, Alex, Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose and Profit, Cambridge University Press, 2020

Shiller, Robert J. Finance and Good Society, 2nd edition. New York: Princeton University Press, 2012.

Lancaster, John, How to speak Money: What the Money People Say – and What it Really Means, Norton, 2014


Some other reference books and movies:

Johnsen, Gudrun, Bringing Down the Banking System, Palgrave MacMillan, 2014

• The Big Short (book by Michael Lewis, 2010, Feature film 2015).

• The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron

• Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street,

Neil Barofsky (2012)

• Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction, David Enrich (2020)

(See video of event hosted at Stanford in April 2020.)

• Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom, Katharine Eban (2019)


Movies (Feature and Documentaries)

(book by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, 2004; Documentary, 2005; Podcast interview with Elkind; Note: Bethany McLean will visit our class)

• Merchants of Doubt (book by Naomi Oreskes and Eric Conway 2011, Documentary 2014)

• Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup (book by John Carreyrou 2018, HBO Documentary “The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley” 2019)

• “Amazon Empire,” Frontline Documentary, 2020 (and related content; Note: Stacy Mitchell will visit our class)

• “Dirty Money” Documentary series on Netflix, 2018-2019: Season 1, Episodes 2-4, (Fahmi Quadir and Bethany McLean in #3 will visit our class), Season 2, Episodes 1-3.

 • “Plastic Wars,” Frontline Documentary, 2020 • “Dark Waters” (feature, 2019, based on book by Robert Billot)

Last updated on 11-02-2022