Corporate Governance and Accountibility

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Corporate Governance and Accountibility

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Business Administration

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    The goals of this course are:

    • To acquire and make use of appropriate terminology related to corporate governance (CG).
    • To learn what empirical research says about CG.
    • To acquire and make use of tools to properly analyze conflicts of interest and dilemmas.
    • To connect accounting practices and corporate misconduct.
    • To get a closer look at major corporate scandals.
    • To become acquainted with the format and content of CG principles and codes.

    The course employs an integrated “building-blocks” approach. Each week, a new block covers – but is not limited to – the following topics:
    +Block 1. Terms and concepts: surveys about fraud and misconduct (what's happening now? why is this important?) • defining CG • terminology • identification of main actors involved
    +Block 2. Theory: main theories (agency, resource-dependent / stewardship, stakeholder) • alternative theories (power, culture) • firms' motives to comply • game theory as a tool
    +Block 3. Research findings: how is CG measured? • empirical findings (what does the evidence say?) • limitations, myths, criticism
    +Block 4. Accounting and CG: financial accounting and reporting • detecting fraud • compensation • internal control • enterprise risk management
    +Block 5. Law and CG (guest lecture): legal basics • tasks, responsibilities, liabilities • different models of CG (1 tier, 2 tier) • Dutch CG Code & regulatory framework • principle-based & “comply or explain” models • principles & best practices
    +Block 6. Principles. principles and recommendations • financial crisis (what have we learned?) • future directions

    These blocks provide answers to the following questions:

    • How is CG understood and defined? How is it measured?
    • How does CG relate to accounting practices, internal control, financial reporting, and enterprise risk management?
    • How do executive and supervisory tasks of boards relate to strategies of management, monitoring, accountability, and control?
    • What are the objectives of CG codes and principles? How do they look like?


    Written exam – Individual assessment.
    (Interim) Assignment(s) – Individual assessment.
    (Interim) Assignment(s) – Group assessment.
    Mandatory attendance tutorials.


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