Training new warriors to battle the ‘global culture of fraud and corruption’

Posted by ap507 at Nov 06, 2014 12:45 PM |
University of Leicester team sheds new light on unseen fraud and corruption in the ‘dark side’ of the commercial world

Issued by the University of Leicester Press Office on 6 November

Contact pressoffice@le.ac.uk to request images

  • Fraud and corruption is highly destructive everywhere, not just in so-called ‘corrupt countries’
  • Increasingly rules and regulations designed to stop fraud worldwide are becoming counter-productive
  • A cultural change to promote awareness of the problem and develop  resilience is required

An academic team from the University of Leicester has joined the war against the ‘dark side’ in a dramatic struggle reminiscent of Luke Skywalker’s famous battle against Darth Vader in Star Wars.

They are calling for a cultural change that actively promotes awareness of the worldwide issue of commercial corruption – and have suggested methods for how individuals can seek out and expose ‘red flags’ of fraud close to home.

Dr Matthew Higgins from the University of Leicester’s School of Management explained: “The commercial dark arts of fraud and corruption are flourishing across the globe. Battling the dark side requires an intricate understanding of how best to defend oneself against its seductive forces.

“Over the past few decades we’ve brought in so many new rules and policies that we are falling over ourselves to comply with them.  Lawyers and accountants have turned anti-fraud and corruption into a profitable industry with their controls, risk-analysis, audits and profiling mantra, and we, the public, have become so shocked by how much greed, corruption and fraud comprises our culture that the “manager in the street” seems to be giving up.  To address these issues the University of Leicester has developed new initiatives to tackle them head-on.”

The University of Leicester team is encouraging people to don their Jedi attire and to raise their light sabres in opposition to corruption through a unique course, ‘Defending your Organisation against Fraud and Corruption’, which has been designed to provide people with the necessary tools to combat the problem and join the fight of Good VS. Evil. The course offers a practical insight into fraud and corruption within the workplace as well as how to combat it.

Dr Higgins added: “Hundreds of students have already taken part in the course and summer school workshops.  The responses are overwhelming.  Management in the real world is crying out for anti-fraud and corruption techniques and new tools to fight corruption and fraud - something which has previously lurked in the shadows but is now much happier to show its face!”

Professor Simon Lilley, Head of the School of Management, said: “There’s been much talk about the importance of consideration of ethics in management and organisation in recent years, particularly following the financial crisis, and Leicester has always been at the forefront of those debates. For us, ethics never was and never should be thought of as a matter of mere philosophical debate, important though such debate is. Rather we are also interested in understanding and encouraging the practical ways in which we can apply the insights derived from thinking about ethics to bring about improvements in the ways in which we operate and manage our organisations in our everyday working lives. This programme of study does just that.”

Nigel Krishna Iyer, a teaching fellow at the University of Leicester School of Management and developer and tutor of the course, added: "People are fed up of form filling and rules which don't work!  Fraud and Corruption is in the commercial equivalent of a "weapon of mass destruction".  People want a real defensive shield, not more paperwork and procedures! At Leicester we believe we give them the weapons to fight it.”

Nigel Iyer is a fellow of the University of Leicester School of Management. He has over 20 years of experience in investigating fraud and corruption. In addition to teaching, he is also a qualified and experienced dramatist. Many of his reality based dramas are used in the courses and students have the chance to become involved and interact with the characters and their circumstances.

The course, ‘Defending Your Organisation Against Fraud and Corruption’, is offered in two formats - online and blended with workshops.

The next running of the online course starts in November 2014.

Information on the course can be found here:

http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/management/distancelearning/cpd/fraudandcorruption

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

For more information please contact Nigel Iyer at nki3@leicester.ac.uk / nigel.iyer@septiagroup.com

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