The Fight against Manipulation and Corruption

The fight against corruption and malpractice has entered a new phase. In many companies, compliance departments have developed over the last two decades and most recently, large hospitals have followed. Governmental rules as well as international guidelines have become sharper and the sanctions more dramatic. However, the new regulation boom at the organizational, national and international level is obviously not producing the results to the extent desired. The scandals (e.g. at Siemens) have not come to a close and, new ones (e.g. malpractice in organ transplantion) occur.

The research project begins with this discrepancy by asking why the regulation boom does not have the desired preventive effects as well as considering further possibilities for anti-corruption (and anti-malpractice) measures.
The Heidelberg research group will contribute to the key issue of how 'compliance' can be regulated effectively in areas of rapid scientific and technological progress - taking the example of organ transplantion. Furthermore, what can we learn from regulatory efforts in traditional areas - taking the example of the manufacturing industry?
To find answers to these questions we examine, in both areas (manufacturing industry and medicine), previously established forms of regulation as well as illegal deviations from rules. To learn more about the cultural conditionality of regulatory forms, we examine two exemplary countries (the USA and Germany) and analyze their similarities and differences on the issue of compliance and the fight against corruption. We address, on the one hand, the question of how to explain scientifically, the low preventive impact of the regulation boom by using an interdisciplinary context of legal, criminological, medical and sociological perspectives and relating these to an analysis of the organization. Using an innovative approach of "useful illegality" in organizations, we point out that these are actions beyond the control of formal rules, actions that are useful and often carried out by loyal senior managers on the basis of informal rules. This will be tested using the example of active corruption (e.g. bribery of third parties by employees) in manufacturing companies and the malpractices in organ transplantion. On the other hand, we will examine the practical challenges of installing proper forms of regulation by collaborating with leading experts and drawing upon their practical experience.
The advantage of our research project will be evident in the fact that we want to provide sound, empirical knowledge about the forms of regulation and self-regulation in organizations that are involved in areas of great scientific and technological progress and to explore how their preventive effectiveness can be enhanced. We propose to do this by drawing upon the experience with self-regulatory rules in traditional fields such as the manufacturing industrial sector.

Project Leader

Prof. Dr. Markus Pohlmann
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Dannecker
Prof. Dr. Dieter Dölling
Prof. Dr. Dieter Hermann

Julian Klinkhammer, M.A.
Elizangela Valarini, M.A.
Christian Mayer
Ludmila Hustus
Nadja Müller
Dr. Sebastian Starystach