Deviant Behavior and Corruption in the Public Sector

Open access online seminar for Master Programs in Public & Nonprofit Management, Public Administration, and Business Studies

Course design by Dr. Kristina S. Weißmüller (University of Bern & University of Hamburg), 2020.

Contact me at: kristina.weissmueller@kpm.unibe.ch or kristina.weissmueller@uni-hamburg.de.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License Creative Commons License.

  1. Course Description
  2. Learning objectives
  3. Assignments & Grading
  4. Course material

Course Description

Public sector corruption is a critical yet severely understudied phenomenon in public administration and public management. Studies worldwide have shown that public sector corruption – e.g., in the form of bribery, rule-breaking, and deviant behavior – causes inequality in access to public services leading to discrimination and an inefficient allocation of resources. This lack of access equity seriously undermines the general public’s trust in government and public institutions.

The course “Deviant Behavior and Corruption in the Public Sector” aims to advance students’ practical and theoretical insights into a critical issue for public management worldwide. Focusing on the underlying mechanisms of individuals’ motivation this course shows how micro, meso, and macro factors interact in shaping people’s willingness to engage in bribery and their perception of rules and ethical behavior in bureaucracies.

This course comprises two topical focusses – deviant behavior and corruption – with 4 classes each, i.e. 8 classes in total. This course can be completed fully in a distance learning environment and it is mostly asynchronous as to be most inclusive for a broader audience of students by allowing for a self-controlled study experience that is flexible in time. Each class comprises a short, recorded lecture as an introduction to the central issues and theoretical concepts. The online lecture is complemented by a set of instructions to direct self-study and further immersion though suggested scientific reading and written assignments.

After each of the two topic blocks, course participants are invited to join the lecturer for a Zoom-meeting in a blended learning environment to discuss and reflect together on their findings in topical focus 1 and 2 respectively. This collaborative feedback will help prepare the consecutive short essays (5 pages + back and front matter each), which are due 2 weeks later and which build upon the class assessments.

The Zoom-login data will be published through STiNE.

All course materials are available open access (prerecorded lectures, lecture slides, syllabus) for everybody interested. All course materials can be found here.

Learning objectives

By participating in this course, students …

Assignments and Grading

The workload for this course amounts to 6 ECTS, i.e it is similar to a 2 SWS seminar course. In order to receive these ECTS credit points, students need to register through STiNE (please make sure to complete registration within the official registration phases) and submit two written pieces of work. Attending the live online sessions is adviced but not mandatory.

Students are required to submit two (!) short essays (5 pages + back and front matter each); this is one essay for each topical focus point each, i.e. one essay on deviant behavior in the public sector and another essay on corruption in the public sector. Please submit the essays to the Academic Office as well as in .docx and .pdf-format to kristina.weissmueller@uni-hamburg.de. Please note that in accordance with WiSo examination regulations, plagiarism software might be used to evaluate the authenticity of the coursework submissions.

Consider checking out these very helpful recommendations on scientific essay writing by Leonhard Dobusch (University of Innsbruck, 2020): https://youtu.be/BpzShqbRkt8.

Course material

Please find the course material for the open online seminar “Deviant Behavior and Corruption in the Public Sector” here. The material includes videos to short lectures, slides in PDF and editable formats, readings and assignments. All content is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).

Deviant Behavior:

Class #1: XXX

Kristina S. Weißmüller, KPM Center for Public Management, University of Bern, Switzerland

Class #1

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Essential Readings & Assignments XXX XXX

Class #2: XXX

Class #2

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Class #3

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Class #4

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Corruption:

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Class #5

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Class #6

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Class #7: XXX

Class #7

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Class #8

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