GPM430 Foundations of Corruption and Misconduct (8)

This subject examines the different approaches to integrity assurance and corruption prevention in the public sector. The subject highlights the suitability of different approaches of particular challenges arising within the context of public service organisational corruption. It initially focuses upon the nature of the public service ethos, and on some of the key challenges to its operation in practice. The subject then examines the nature of corruption and misconduct and considers definitions, costs and consequences of corruption as well as examining different explanations for why corruption and misconduct occur. It looks at major forms of corruption and misconduct, and uses case studies to develop student understandings of how corruption and misconduct can occur and continue unchecked

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2021.

Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security

Enrolment Restrictions

Post Graduate Students only

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to appreciate the foundations of the public service ethos
  • be able to recognise different ethical frameworks applicable to the delivery of public services
  • be able to demonstrate familiarity with the main forms of corruption and misconduct
  • be able to recognise institutional, political and individual factors associated with corruption and misconduct within public sector organisations
  • be able to apply theoretical perspectives to the understanding of why corruption and misconduct can arise, within the context of particular case studies.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Module 1: Ethical Models In the Public Sector 1.1 The public service ethos and overview of different ethics models 1.2 Impacts of different management approaches upon public sector ethics from bureaucracy to risk management
  • Module 2: Types of Corruption and Misconduct 2.1 Defining Corruption and the corruption continuum 2.2 Fraud 2.3 Theft and embezzlement 2.4 Bribery, kickbacks and receipt of benefits 2.5 Unauthorized disclosure of information and misuse of databases. 2.6 Conflict of interest and improper association. 2.7 Nepotism and improper influence 2.8 Deception, lying and perjury. 2.9 Noble cause corruption 2.10 High-risk corruption (particular reference to trafficking and political corruption).
  • Module 3: The Key Challenge of Corruption 2.7 The corruption continuum 2.8 Bureaucratic discretion 2.9 Harms 2.10 Political Costs 2.11 Corruption as a social problem 2.12 Measuring corruption
  • Module 4: Theories of Corruption Behaviour 4.1 Individual explanations: Rational choice and opportunity; Psychological theories. 4.2 Institutional explanations: Social, Cultural and Organizational explanations 4.3 Environmental explanations: Opportunity theory; Strain theory; Social learning and neutralization

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of GPM430 in Session 3 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Assignment 1
Assignment 2
Assignment 3

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.