FINS5581 Empirical Corporate Governance - 2019

Term 3
6 Units of Credit
On Campus
Banking & Finance
The course outline is not available for current semester. To view outlines from other year and/or semesters visit the archives

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

​FINS5581 is an elective for students in the PhD and MPhil programs. The course explores a number of empirical questions and statistical techniques from corporate finance, with application to topics in corporate governance. Topics covered include applications of agency theory and optimal contracting theory, an overview of internal and external corporate control mechanisms, and a survey of major methodological approaches used in this research area including their strengths and weaknesses. The primary topics to be covered are corporate boards of directors, executive incentives, and manifestations of poor governance. We will also discuss some of the major databases used for this type of research. The topics to be covered are all in the lecturer’s area of expertise.

The course assumes a sound knowledge of the economic theory relating to the foundations of finance, including basic agency theory and financial contract theory. The course will emphasize both the major economic questions concerning the needs for and the effectiveness of these critical corporate governance mechanisms and to help researchers to create effective research designs necessary to produce compelling evidence of causal relationships.

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

By the end of the course, you should be familiar with some of the classic research as well as some of the most cutting edge work in the field of corporate governance. You should also understand the major empirical approaches employed in this research area, and a good understanding of what makes for a strong research paper and to be well-equipped to undertake your own research studies. However, ultimately, the time and effort that each student devotes to the course will determine how much he or she learns.

This course will focus primarily on recent research over the last couple of years. We will explore key questions in corporate governance and their effects on corporate decision making. In the process of studying these topics, I will primarily emphasize the empirical predictions of theory, and the statistical methodology used in corporate finance and the strengths and weaknesses of the existing statistical evidence.

This is a Postgraduate (PhD) course. Participants should have a strong interest in corporate finance. Students will find many of the econometric techniques covered in Research Method in Finance 1 and 2 very useful in undertaking their research projects and they should be prepared to use these techniques. In addition, students should have a solid background in the microeconomic theory of the firm.

2. Staff Contact Details

Position Title Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Lecturer-in-chargeProfRon MasulisRoom: 354, Business School bulding - Ref E12+61 2 9385 5860Monday 1-2 pm (or by appointment)

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

The teaching and learning approach adopted emphasises the importance of developing critical thinking and analytical skills. This is achieved through a mix of lectures, class presentations and discussions, and a research paper.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

​Weekly Class Activities:

In order to obtain the full benefit from the course, students should:

  1. Read the assigned reading for each class and be prepared to ask critical questions and to answer specific questions about the readings.
  2. Attend all seminar classes and arrive on time.
  3. Actively participate in class: Answer questions posed by the instructor, and ask your own questions.
  4. If issues are still not clear, first ask your classmates, then ask me, send me a mail, or come to my office during the consultation hours.

The rationale for the above suggestions and requirements in following these points is necessary to achieve the learning outcomes specified in Section 2.4. The design of the course presupposes that students are interested in the topics and will endeavour to learn the material presented. Lectures and class discussions and presentations are all aimed to facilitate your learning. However, ultimately, the time and effort each student devotes to the course will determine how much he or she learns from it.

During a typical 3-hour session, the first half of class will be devoted to covering the lecture material, which will be primarily based on survey paper readings and student presentations and discussions of assigned readings. These lectures are intended to establish an analytical framework for investigating major corporate governance mechanisms. The lecturer will focus on the most challenging concepts and students are encouraged to engage in a dialogue to facilitate better understandings of the materials. The lecturer will also highlight examples of effective writing in the assigned readings.

The second half of the class will generally involve student presentations and discussions of the research articles on key issues raised during lectures, prior class discussions and assigned readings. These will help students develop both an understanding of the theoretical underpinning of the literature and a familiarity with how these theories are evaluated empirically.

Beyond the classroom:

You are required to do the required readings as well as preparing for class discussions and presentations and completing a research paper. Outside the class, students are encouraged to form study groups to engage in interactive critical discussions of the assigned research articles. Students are also expected to attend the weekly finance seminars.

You are encouraged to fully utilise the available consultation hours to best prepare for the assignments. For the assignments, I will provide extra assistance in terms of suggesting further readings and discussing issues related to your presentations and research paper.

5. Course Resources

All required readings, and information on assessments can be found on the subject web page (See Moodle below). Students are strongly advised to log into the subject web page at least once a week. Additional readings: Additional academic reference papers will be listed on Moodle. They are available in full-text format (pdf files) from the library. The easiest way to find them is to (1) or (2) the faculty member’s personal or university webpage.

Course Outline – required and recommended readings

* Denotes required readings

** Denotes required literature surveys


Background Reading Prior to First Class

*Shleifer, A. and W. Vishny, 1997, A Survey of Corporate Governance, Journal of Finance 52, 737-783.

Becht, M., P. Bolton and A. Roell, 2003, Corporate Governance and Control in The Handbook of the Economics of Finance, Volume 1A, Corporate Finance (eds.) G. Constantinides, M. Harris and R. Stultz, North-Holland.

*Cochrane, J., 2014, Writing Tips for PhD Students, University of Chicago note.

McCloskey, D., 1985, Economical Writing, Economic Inquiry 24, 187-222.


Research Strategies & Corporate Finance Paradigms

Fama, E. 1980. Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm, Journal of Political Economy 88(2): 288-307.

*Fama, E., and M. Jensen, 1983, Separation of Ownership and Control, Journal of Law and Economics 26, 301-325. 

Hellwig, M., 2009, A Reconsideration of the Jensen-Meckling Model of Outside Finance, Journal of Financial Intermediation 18, 495-525. 

*Jensen, M. and W. Meckling, 1976, Theory of the Firm: Managerial Behavior, Agency Costs, and Ownership Structure, Journal of Financial Economics 3(4): 305-60.

*Jensen, M., 1986, Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers, American Economic Review 323-329.

Klein, B. and K. Leffler, 1981, The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance, Journal of Political Economy 89:4, 615-641.


Methodological Approaches in Corp. Governance I – Endogeneity & Natural Experiments

*Atanasov, V. and B. Black, 2016, Shock-Based Causal Inference in Corporate Finance and Accounting Research, Critical Finance Review, 5: 207–304

Atanasov, V. and B. Black, 2019, The Trouble with Instruments: The Need for Pre-Treatment Balance in Shock-IV Designs, Management Science, forthcoming.

Athey, S. and G. Imbens, 2017, The State of Applied Econometrics: Causality and Policy Evaluation, Journal of Economic Perspectives 31(2), 3-32.

Bartlett, R. and F. Partnoy, 2019, The Misuse of Tobin's Q, Vanderbilt Law Review, forthcoming.

Karpoff, J. and M. Wittry, 2018, Institutional & Legal Context in Natural Experiments: The Case of State Anti-Takeover Laws, Journal of Finance, 73(2), 657-714.

*Roberts, M. and T. Whited, 2013, Endogeneity in Empirical Corporate Finance, Handbook of the Economics of Finance (PA), 493-572.


Methodological Approaches in Corp. Governance II – Matching Methods, DID & Panel Regressions

Bertrand, M. and E. Duflo and S. Mullainathan, 2004, How Much Should We Trust Differences–in-Differences Estimates? Quarterly Journal of Economics, 119, 249-275.

*Bertrand, M. and S. Mullainathan, 2003, Enjoying the Quiet Life? Corporate Governance and Managerial Preferences, Journal of Political Economy, 111, 1043-1075.

*Chaney, T., D. Sraer and D. Thesmar, 2012, The Collateral Channel: How Real Estate Shocks Affect Corporate Investment, American Economic Review, 102, 2381-2409.

*Gormley, T. and D. Matsa, 2014, Common Errors: How to (and Not to) Control for Unobservable Heterogeneity, Review of Financial Studies, 27(2), 617-661.

Karpoff, J., A. Koester, D.S. Lee and G. Martin, 2017, Proxies and Databases in Financial Misconduct Research, The Accounting Review, 92(6), 129-163.

*Petersen, M., 2009, Estimating Standard Errors in Finance Panel Data Sets: Comparing Approaches, Review of Financial Studies, 22(1), 434-480.

*Grieser, W. and C. Hadlock, 2019, Panel-Data Estimation in Finance: Testable Assumptions and Parameter (In)Consistency, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis 54, 1-29.


Methodological Approaches in Corporate Governance III – DDR

Bakke, T. and T. Whited, 2012, Threshold Events and Identification: A Study of Cash Shortfalls, Journal of Finance 67(3), 1083–1111.

Bena, J. and T. Xu, 2013, Competition and Ownership Structures of Closely-Held Firms, Review of Financial Studies, 30(5), 1583-1626.

Chang, Y., H. Hong, E. Liskovich, 2015, Regression Discontinuity and the Price Effects of Stock Market Indexing, Review of Financial Studies, 28(1), 213-246.

Chemmanur, T. and X. Tian, 2018, Do Antitakeover Provisions Spur Corporate Innovation? A Regression Discontinuity Analysis, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, 53(3), 1163-1194.

*Colak, G. and T. Whited, 2007, Spin-offs, Divestitures and Conglomerate Investment, Review of Financial Studies, 20, 557-595.

*Crane, A., S. Michenaud and J. Weston, 2016, The Effect of Institutional Ownership on Payout Policy: A Regression Discontinuity Design Approach, Review of Financial Studies, 29 (6), 1377-1408.

*Cunat, V., M. Guadalupe and M. Gine, 2012, The Vote Is Cast: The Effect of Corporate Governance on Shareholder Value, Journal of Finance, 67(5), 1943-1977.

Kwan, A., R. Masulis and T. McInish, 2015, Trading Rules, Competition for Order Flow and Market Fragmentation, Journal of Financial Economics, 115, 330-48.

*Roberts, M. and T. Whited, 2013, Endogeneity in Empirical Corporate Finance, Handbook of the Economics of Finance (PA), 493-572 (sections on Matching and DDR).

Appel, I., T. Gormley and D. Keim, 2019, Identification Using Russell 1000/2000 Index Assignments: A Discussion of Methodologies, University of Pennsylvania working paper.


Corporate Decisions & Boards of Directors

**Hermalin, B.E., and M.S. Weisbach, 2003. Boards of Directors as an Endogenously Determined Institution: A Survey of the Economic Literature, Federal Reserve Bank of New York Economic Policy Review 9(1), 7–26.

Adams, R., 2017, Boards and the Directors Who Sit on Them, in The Handbook of the Economics of Corporate Governance, coedited with B. Hermalin and M. Weisbach, 2017, Elsevier Publishers.

Adams, R., B. Hermalen and M. Weisbach, 2010, The Role of Boards of Directors in Corporate Governance: A Conceptual Framework and Survey, Journal of Economic Literature, 48(1), 58-107.

Armstrong, C., J. Core and W. Guay, 2014, Do Independent Directors Cause Improvements in Firm Transparency, Journal of Financial Economics, 113, 383-403.

Banerjee, S. and R. Masulis, August 2018, Ownership, Investment and Governance: The Costs and Benefits of Dual Class Shares, UNSW working paper.

Banerjee, S., R. Masulis and A. Upadhyay, September 2019, Mitigating Effects of Gender Diverse Board in Companies with Aggressive Management, UNSW working paper.

Coles, J., N. Daniel, and L. Naveen, 2014, Co-opted Boards, Review of Financial Studies, 27(6), 1751-1796.

Coles, J., N. Daniel, and L. Naveen, 2008, Boards: Does One Size Fit All? Journal of Financial Economics, 87, 329-356.

Duchin, R., J. Matsusaka and O. Ozbas, 2010, When Are Outside Directors Effective? Journal of Financial Economics, 96, 195-214.

Guo, L. and R. Masulis, 2015, Board Structure and Monitoring: New Evidence from CEO Turnovers, Review of Financial Studies, 28(10), 2770-2811.

Hwang, B. and S. Kim, 2009, It Pays to Have Friends, Journal of Financial Economics, 93, 138-158.

Knyazeva, A., D. Knyazeva and R. Masulis, 2013, The Supply of Corporate Directors and Board Independence, Review of Financial Studies, 26, 1561-1605.

Liu, C.Y., A. Low, R. Masulis and L. Zhang, 2019, Monitoring the Monitor: Distracted Institutional Investors and Board Governance, Review of Financial Studies, forthcoming.

Masulis, R. and S. Mobbs, August 2019, Independent Director Reputation Incentives: CEO Compensation Contracting and Financial Reporting, UNSW working paper.

Masulis, R. and S. Mobbs, 2014, Independent Director Incentives: Where Do Talented Directors Spend their Time and Energy? Journal of Financial Economics, 111, 406-429.

Masulis, R. and S. Mobbs, 2011, Are All Inside Directors the Same? Evidence from the External Directorship market, Journal of Finance, 66(3), 823-872

Masulis, R. and S. Reza, May 2019, Private Benefits and Corporate Investments: The Case of Corporate Philanthropy, SSRN working paper.

Masulis, R. and S. Reza, 2015, Agency Problems of Corporate Philanthropy, Review of Financial Studies, 28(2), 592-636.

*Masulis, R., S. Shen, and Z. Hong, September 2019, Personal Liability and Board Quality, HKU working paper.

Masulis, R., C. Wang, and F. Xie and S. Zhang, April 2019, Older and Wiser or Too Old to Govern? UNSW working paper, European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) - Finance Working Paper No. 584/2018.

Masulis, R., C. Wang and F. Xie, 2012, Globalizing the Boardroom - The Effects of Foreign Directors on Corporate Governance and Firm Performance, Journal of Accounting and Economics, 53(3), 527-554.

Masulis, R. and E. J. Zhang, 2019, How Valuable Are Independent Directors? Evidence from External Distractions, Journal of Financial Economics, 132(3), 226-256.


Recent Research

Adams, R., A. Akyol and P. Verwijmeren, 2018, Director Skill Sets, Journal of Financial Economics, 130(3), 641-662.

*Aggarwal, R., S. Dahiya and N. Prabhala, 2019, The Power of Shareholder Votes: Evidence from Director Elections, Journal of Financial Economics, 131(1), 134-153.

Andonov, A., Y. Hochberg, and J. Rauh, 2018, Political Representation and Governance: Evidence from the Investment Decisions of Public Pension Funds, Journal of Finance, 73(5), 2041-2086.

Appel, I., T. Gormley and D. Keim, 2016, Passive Investors, Not Passive Owners, Journal of Financial Economics, 121(1), 111-141

Armstrong, C., J. Core, and W. Guay, 2014. Do Independent Directors Cause Improvements in Firm Transparency? Journal of Financial Economics, 113, 383-403.

*Balsmeier, B., L. Fleming and G. Manso, 2017, Independent Boards and Innovation, Journal of Financial Economics, 123, 536-557.

Bates, T., D. Becher and J. Wilson, May 2017, Performance-Based Turnover on Corporate Boards, ASU Working Paper.

Belot, F., E. Ginglinger, M. Slovin and M. Suishka, 2014, Freedom of Choice between Unitary and Two-Tier Boards; An Empirical Analysis, Journal of Financial Economics, 112, 364-385.

Borokhovich, K., T. Boulton, K. Brunarski and Y. Harman, October 2014, The Incentives of Grey Directors: Evidence from Unexpected Executive and Board Chair Turnovers, Journal of Corporate Finance, 28, 102-115.

Bouwman, C., 2011, Corporate Governance Propagation through Overlapping Directors, Review of Financial Studies, 24(7), 2358-2394.

Brochet, F. and S. Srinivasan, 2014, Accountability of Independent Directors, Evidence from Firms Subject to Securities Litigation, Journal of Financial Economics, 111, 430-449.

Burt, A., C. Hrdlicka, and J. Harford, 2019. How Much Do Directors Influence Firm Value?, Review of Financial Studies, forthcoming. Cai, J., T. Nguyen, and R. Walkling, 2017, Director Appointments–It Is Who You Know, Drexel U. Working Paper.

*Cai, X., F. Jiang and J. K. Kang, 2019, Remote Board Meetings and Corporate Governance: Evidence from China, NTU working paper

Campello, M., D. Ferres, G. Ormazabal, 2017, Whistleblowers on the Board? The Role of Independent Directors in Cartel Prosecutions, Journal of Law and Economics 60(2), 241-268.

Celikyurt, U., M. Sevilir and A. Shivdasani, 2014, Venture Capitalists on Boards of Mature Public Firms, Review of Financial Studies, 27(1), 56-101.

Chen, K. and W. Guay, 2019, Busy Directors and Shareholder Satisfaction, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, forthcoming.

Chen, M. and H. Mas, 2017, Lead Directors, Monitoring and Forced CEO Turnover, Georgia State working paper.

Chen, M., Q. Wu and E. Zhivotova, 2017, Director Reputation and Settling-Up. Evidence from Internal and External Labor Markets, Georgia State working paper.

Chhaochharia, V., Y. Grinstein, G. Grullon and R. Michaely, 2017, Product Market Competition and Internal Governance: Evidence from the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Management Science 63(5), 1405-1424.

Cohen, A. and C. Wang, 2013, How Doe Staggered Boards Affect Shareholder Value? Evidence from a Natural Experiment, Journal of Financial Economics, 110, 627-641.

Coles, J., N. Daniel and L. Naveen, 2014, Board Advising, Arizona State working paper.

Cornelli, F., Z. Kominek, and A. Ljungqvist, 2013, Monitoring Managers: Does it Matter? Journal of Finance, 68(2), 431-481.

Cremers, K., L. Litov and S. Sepe, March 2017, Staggered Boards and Firm Value, Revisited, Journal of Financial Economics,126(2), 422-444.

*D’Acunto, F., M. Weber and J. Xie, 2019, Punish One, Teach a Hundred: The Sobering Effect of Punishment on the Unpunished, Boston College working paper.

Dass, N., O. Kini, V. Nanda, B. Onal and J. Wang, 2014, Board Expertise: Do Directors from Related Industries Help Bridge the Information Gap? Review of Financial Studies, 27(5), 1533-1592.

Denis, D., D. Denis and M. Walker, 2015, CEO Assessment and the Structure of Newly Formed Boards, Review of Financial Studies, 28, 3338-3366.

Donaldson J., N. Malenko and G. Piacentino, 2019, Deadlock on the Board, SSRN working paper.

*Duchin, R., M. Simutin and D. Sosyura, 2019, The Origins and Real Effects of the Gender Gap: Evidence from CEOs’ Formative Years, SSRN working paper.

Eckbo, E., K. Nygaard and K. Thorburn, 2019, Board Gender-Balancing and Firm Value, European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) - Finance Working Paper No. 463/2016; Tuck School of Business Working Paper No. 2746786. Fahlenbrach, R., A. Low and R. Stulz, 2017, Do Independent Director Departures Predict Future Bad Events? Review of Financial Studies, 30(7), 2313-2358.

Fahlenbrach, R., A. Low and R. Stulz, 2010, Why Do Firms Appoint CEOs as Outside Directors?, Journal of Financial Economics, 97, 12-32.

Falato, A., D. Kadyrzhanova and U. Lel, 2014, Distracted Directors: Does Board Busyness Hurt Shareholder Value? Journal of Financial Economics, 113(3), 404-426.

Fauver, L., M. Hung, X. Li and A. Taboada, 2017, Board Reforms and Firm Value: Worldwide Evidence, Journal of Financial Economics, 125, 120-142.

Ferreira, D., M. Ferreira and B. Mariano, 2017, Creditor Control Rights and Board Independence, Journal of Finance, 73(5), 2385-2423.

Field, L. and M. Lowry, 2019, Bucking the Trend: Why do IPOs Choose Controversial Governance

Structures and Why Do Investors Let Them?, SSRN Working Paper.

Field, L. and A. Mkrtchyan, 2017, The Effect of Director Experience on Acquisition Performance, Journal of Financial Economics, 123, 488-511.

Fisman, R., R. Khurana and M. Rhodes-Kropf, 2014, Governance and CEO Turnover: Do Something or Do the Right Thing? Management Science, 60(2), 319-337.

Fogel, K., L. Ma and R. Morck, January 2015, Powerful Independent Directors, NBER Working Paper No. 19809.

Fos, V., 2016, The Disciplinary Effects of Proxy Contests, Management Science, 63(3), 655-671.

Fos, V., K. Li, K and M. Tsoutsoura, 2018, Do Director Elections Matter? Review of Financial Studies, 31(4), 1499-1531.

Fracassi, C. and G. Tate, 2012, External Networking and Internal Firm Governance, Journal of Finance, 67, 153-194.

Francis, B., I. Hasan and Q. Wu, 2015, Professors in the Boardroom and their Impact on Corporate Governance and Firm Value, Financial Management, 44(3), 547-581.

Giannetti, M., G. Liao and X. Yu, 2015, The Brain Gain of Corporate Boards: Evidence from China, Journal of Finance, 70(4), 1629-1682.

*Hertzel, M., and H. Zhao, 2019, Why Do Boards Let Their CEOs Take Outside Directorships? Entrenchment and Embeddedness, Arizona State working paper

*Hoitash, U. and A. Mktchyan, 2019, Directors’ Ties to Non-CEO Executives: Information Advantage or Entrenchment? SSRN working paper.

Houston, J., J. Lee and H. Shan, 2019, In Search of Board Independence: Former Employees, Shades of Gray and Director Classification, 2017 FIRS conference working paper.

*Hsu, P.H, Y. Lu and H. Wu, 2019, Directors’ Re-election Pressure and Advisory Roles in Innovative Project Choices, Hong Kong Poly working paper.

Huang, Q., F. Jiang, E. Lie, K. Yang, 2014, The Role of Investment Banker Directors in M&A, Journal of Financial Economics, 112, 269-286.

Intintoli, V., K. Kahle and W. Zhao, January 2019, Is Good Advice Hard to Find? The Impact of Director Connectedness on Financing and Investment, U of Arizona Working Paper.

*Jenter, D., T. Schmid and D. Urban, 2019, Does Board Size Matter? LBS Working paper.

Jiang, W., H. Wan and S. Zhao, 2016, Reputation Concerns of independent Directors: Evidence from Individual Director Voting, Review of Financial Studies, 29(3), 655-696.

Karpoff, J. and M. Wittry, 2018, Institutional and Legal Context in Natural Experiments: The Case of State Antitakeover Laws, Journal of Finance, 73(2), 657-714.

Khanna, E. H. Kim and Y. Lu, 2015, CEO Connectedness and Corporate Fraud, Journal of Finance, 70(3), 1203-1252.

Kim, E. Han and Yao Lu, 2018, Executive Suite Independence: Is It Related to Board Independence? Management Science, 64(3), 1015-1033.

Kim, S. and S. Oh, 2017, Board Diversity and Director Dissent in Corporate Boards, Working Paper.

Lamoreaux, P., L. Litov and L. Mauler, 2019, Lead Independent Directors: Good Governance or Window Dressing? Journal of Accounting Literature, 43, 47-69.

Lee, J., K. Lee and J. Nagaragan, 2014, Birds of a Feather: Value Implications of Political Alignment between Top Management and Directors, Journal of Financial Economics, 112, 232-250.

Levit, D. and N. Malenko, 2016, The Labor Market for Directors and Externalities in Corporate Governance, Journal of Finance, 71(2), 775-808.

Li, F. and S. Srinivasan, 2011, Corporate governance when founders are directors, Journal of Financial Economics 102, 454-469.

Li, H., H. Ryan, L. Wang and B. Yang, 2013, Family Firms and Boards of Directors: Evidence from Board Tenure, Georgia State working paper.

Lie, E. and K.D. Yang, 2016. Board Independence, Corporate Spending, and Cash Holdings, Working Paper.

Lin, C., M. Officer, R. Wang and H. Zou, 2013, Directors' and Officers' Liability Insurance and Loan Spreads, Journal of Financial Economics, 110(1), 37–60.

Lin, C., T. Schmid and Y. Sun, 2017, Conflict or Collusion? How Employees in the Boardroom Affect Executive Compensation, 2017 FIRS conference working paper.

Lu, J. and W. Wang, 2018. Managerial Conservatism, Board Independence, and Corporate Innovation, Journal of Corporate Finance, 48, 1-16.

Malm, J. and S. Mobbs, 2016, Independent Directors and Corporate Litigation, University of Alabama Working Paper.

Muravyer, A., I. Berezinets and Y. Ilina, July 2014, The Structure of Corporate Boards and Private Benefits of Control: Evidence from the Russian Stock Exchange, International Review of Financial Analysis, 34, 247-261.

Nguyen, B.D. and K. Nielsen, 2010, The Value of Independent Directors: Evidence from Sudden Deaths, Journal of Financial Economics, 98, 550–567.

Pang, J., X. Zhang and X. Zhou, 2019, From Classroom to Boardroom: The Value of Academic Independent Directors, SSRN working paper.

Ravina, E. and P. Sapienza, 2010, What Do Independent Directors Know? Evidence from Their Trading, Review of Financial Studies, 23(3), 962-1003.

Re-Jin, J.G., Q. Sun and X. Zuo, 2017, Innovation Diffusion in Network of Corporate Boards, Working Paper.

Schmidt, C. and R. Fahlenbrach, 2017, Do Exogenous Changes in Passive Institutional Ownership Affect Corporate Governance and Firm Value? Journal of Financial Economics 124, 285-306.

*Stern, L., I. Erel, C. Tan and M. Weisbach, 2019, Selecting Directors Using Machine Learning, SSRN working paper

Wang, C., F. Xie, and M. Zhu, 2015, Industry Expertise of Independent Directors and Board Monitoring, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, 50(5), 929–962.

Wang, S., 2017, Are Independent Directors with Industry Expertise More Informed? SSRN working paper.

Yang, D.R., 2016. Waiting Out Storms in the Absence; Outside Directors' Selective Attendance at Board Meetings, CICF Working Paper.

Yang, T. and S. Zhao, 2014, CEO Duality and Firm Performance: Evidence from an Exogenous Shock to the Competitive Environment, Journal of Banking and Finance, 49, 534-552.


Managers Incentives - Overview

*Banerjee, S., R. Masulis and A. Upadhyay, September 2019, Mitigating Effects of Gender Diverse Boards in Companies with Aggressive Management, SSRN working paper.

Benabou, R. and J. Tirole, 2016, Bonus Culture: Competitive Pay, Screening and Multitasking, Journal of Political Economy, 124(2), 305-370.

Edmans, A. and X. Gabaix, 2016, Executive Compensation: A Modern Primer, Journal of Economic Literature, 54(4), 1232-1287.

*Edmans, A., X. Gabaix and D. Jenter, 2017, Executive Compensation: A Survey of Theory and Evidence, Chapter 7 in Benjamin E. Hermalin and Michael S. Weisbach (eds.), Handbook of the Economics of Corporate Governance, Elsevier: Amsterdam, 383-539,

Gabaix, X. and A. Landier, 2008, Why Has CEO Pay Increased So Much? Quarterly Journal of Economics, 123, 49-100.

Graham, J., C. Harvey, M. Puri, 2013, Managerial attitudes and corporate actions, Journal of Financial Economics, 109, 103-121.

*Hermalin, H. and M. Weisbach, Assessing Managerial Ability: Implications for Corporate Governance, Chapter 3 of The Handbook of the Economics of Corporate Governance, coedited with B. Hermalin and M. Weisbach, 2017, Elsevier Publishers.

*Islam, M. E., R. Masulis and L. Rahman, September 2019, Mobility Restrictions and Risk-Related Agency Conflicts: Evidence from a Quasi-Natural Experiment. SSRN working paper.

**Murphy, K., 2013, Executive Compensation: Where We Are and How We Got There, Handbook of the Economics of Finance (PA), 211-356.

Tervio, M., 2008, The Difference that CEOs Make: An Assignment Model Approach,” American Economic Review, 98(3), 642-668.


Managers Incentives - Corporate Decisions & Risk-taking

Adams, R., H. Almeida and D. Ferreira, 2005, Powerful CEOs and Their Impact on Corporate Performance, Review of Financial Studies, 18(4), 1403-1432.

Benmelech, E., E. Kandel and P. Veronesi, 2010, Stock based compensation and CEO (Dis) Incentives, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 125, 1769-1820.

Bertrand, M., and S. Mullainathan, 2001, Are CEOs Rewarded for Luck? The Ones without Principals Are, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 116, 901-932.

Core, J.E., R.W. Holthausen, and D.F. Larcker, 1999, Corporate Governance, Chief Executive Officer Compensation, and Firm Performance, Journal of Financial Economics, 51(3), 371-406

Dou, Y., R. Masulis and J. Zein, 2019, Shareholder Wealth Consequence of Insider Pledging of Company Stock as Collateral for Personal Loans, Review of Financial Studies, forthcoming.

Edmans, A. and X. Gabaix, 2011, Tractability in Incentive Contracting, Review of Financial Studies, 24(9), 2865-2894.

*Liu, C.Y., R. Masulis and J. Stanfield, September 2019, CEO Option Compensation Can Be a Bad Option: Evidence from Product Market Relationships, UNSW working paper.

Low, A., 2009, Managerial Risk-taking Behavior and Equity-based Compensation, Journal of Financial Economics, 92, 470-490.

Masulis, R. and S. Zhang, July 2019, What Drives Senior Executive Compensation Gaps, Tournament Incentives or Managerial Power? UNSW working paper.

Masulis, R. and S. Mobbs, August 2019, Independent Director Reputation Incentives: CEO Compensation Contracts and Financial Accounting Quality, UNSW working paper.

Morck, R., A. Shleifer and R. Vishny, 1988, Managerial Ownership and Market Valuation: An Empirical Analysis, Journal of Financial Economics, 20, 293-315.

Tchistyi, A., D. Yermack and H. Yun, 2011, Negative Hedging: Performance Sensitive Debt and CEOs’ Equity Incentives, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, 46(3) 657-686.

Wei, C. and D. Yermack, 2011, Investor Reactions to CEOs’ Inside Debt Incentives, Review of Financial Studies, 24, 3813-3840.


Recent Research

Anton, M., F. Ederer, M. Gine, and M. Schmalz, 2018, Common Ownership, Competition, and Top Management Incentives, SSRN working paper.

Armstrong, C. J. Core and W. Guay, 2016, Why Do CEOs Hold So Much Unconstrained Equity? MIT Working Paper.

Armstrong, C., D. Larcker, G. Ormazabal, and D. Taylor, 2013, The Relation Between Equity Incentives and Misreporting: The Role of Risk-taking Incentives, Journal of Financial Economics, 109(2), 327-350.

Babenko, I, B. Bennett, J. Bizjak and J. Coles, 2017, Clawback Provisions, Arizona State working paper.

Babenko, I. and R. Sen, 2016, Do Non-Executive Employees Have Information? Evidence from Employee Stock Purchase Plans, Management Science, 62(7), 1878-1898.

Bates, T., D. Becher and J. Wilson, 2017, Performance-Based Turnover on Corporate Boards, SSRN working paper

Benmelech, E. and C. Frydman, 2015, Military CEOs. Journal of Financial Economics, 117(1), 43-59.

Bereskin, F. and D. Cicero, 2013, CEO Compensation Contagion: Evidence from an Exogenous Shock, Journal of Financial Economics, 107(2), 477-493.

Bernile, G., V. Bhagwat and R. Rau, 2017, What Doesn't Kill You Will Only Make You More Risk-loving: Early-life Disasters and CEO Behaviour, Journal of Finance, 72(1), 167–206.

Bettis, C., J. Bizjak, J. Coles and S. Kalpathy, 2018, Performance-Vesting Provisions in Executive Compensation, Journal of Accounting and Economics, 66, 194-221.

Bettis, C., J. Bizjak and S. Kalpathy, 2015, Why Do Insiders Hedge their Ownership? An Empirical Examination, Financial Management, 44(3), 655-683.

*Bizjak, J., S. Kalpathy, and V. Mihov, 2018, Performance Contingencies in CEO Equity Awards and Debt Contracting, Accounting Review, forthcoming.

Butler, A. and U. Gurun, 2012, Educational Networks, Mutual Fund Voting Patterns, and CEO Compensation, Review of Financial Studies, 25(8), 2533-2562.

Chu, J., J. Faasse and R. Rau, 2018, Do Compensation Consultants Enable Higher CEO Pay? A Disclosure Rule Change as a Separating Device, Management Science, 64(10), 4471-4965.

Coles, J., Z. Li and Y. Wang, 2018, Industry Tournament Incentives, Review of Financial Studies, 31(4), 1418–1459.

Coles, J., and Z. Li, 2018, Managerial Attributes, Incentives, and Performance, Arizona State working paper.

Cornaggia, J., K. Cornaggia and H. Xia, 2016, Revolving Doors on Wall Street, Journal of Financial Economics, 120(2), 400-419.

Cronqvist, H., A. Makhija, S. Yonker, 2012, Behavioral Consistency in Corporate Finance: CEO Personal and Corporate Leverage, Journal of Financial Economics, 103, 20-40.

Cunat, V., M. Gine and M. Guadalupe, 2016, Say Pays! Shareholder Voice and Firm Performance, Review of Finance, 20(5), 1799-1834.

Custódio, C., M. Ferreira, P. Matos, 2013, Generalists Versus Specialists: Lifetime Work Experience and Chief Executive Officer Pay, Journal of Financial Economics, 108, 471-492.

Dasgupta, S., A. Wang and X. Li, 2017, Product Market Competition Shocks, Firm Performance, and Forced CEO Turnover, Review of Financial Studies, 31(11), 4187-4231.

Davidson, R., A. Dey, A., Smith, 2015, Executives’ “off-the-job” Behavior, Corporate Culture, and Financial Reporting Risk, Journal of Financial Economics, 117(1), 5-28.

Deng, X. and H. Gao, 2013, Nonmonetary Benefits, Quality of Life and Executive Compensation, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, 48(1), 197-218.

Du, F. 2018, From Playground to Boardroom, Endowed Social Status and Managerial Performance, Arizona State University working paper.

Edmans, A., P. Chaigneau and D. Gottlieb, 2018, Does Improved Information Improve Incentives? Journal of Financial Economics, 130(2), 291-307.

Edmans, A., V.W. Fang and A. Hung, 2018, The Long-term Consequences of Short-term Incentives, ECGI Working Paper.

Edmans, A., V. Fong and K. Lewellen, 2017, Equity Vesting and Investment, Review of Financial Studies, 30(7), 2229-2271.

Edmans, A., L. Goncalves-Pinto, M. Groen-Xu, and Y. Wang, 2018, Strategic News Releases in Equity Vesting Months, Review of Financial Studies, 31(11), 4099-4141.

Ellul, A., C. Wang and K. Zhang, 2017, Labor Unemployment Risk and CEO Incentive Compensation, University of Indiana working paper.

Engelberg, J., P. Gao and C. Parsons, 2013, The Price of a CEO Rolodex, Review of Financial Studies, 26(1), 79-114.

Falato, A., D. Li and T. Milbourn, 2015, Which Skills Matter in the Market for CEOs? Evidence from Pay for CEO Credentials, Management Science, 61(12), 2845-2869.

Fee, C., C. Hadlock, J. Pierce, 2013, Managers with and without style: Evidence using exogenous variation, Review of Financial Studies, 26, 567-601

Focke, F., E. Maug, and A. Niessen-Ruenzi, 2017, The Impact of Firm Prestige on Executive Compensation, Journal of Financial Economics, 123(2), 313-336.

Gabaix, X., A. Landier and J. Sauvagnet, 2014, CEO Pay and Firm Size: An Update after the Crisis, The Economic Journal, 124(574), F40-F59.

*Gagnon, L., and A. Jenneret, 2019, Does Corporate Governance Impact Equity Volatility? Theory and Worldwide Evidence, HEC Montreal working paper.

*Gilje, E., T. Gormley and D. Levit, 2019, Who’s Paying Attention? Measuring Common Ownership and its Impact on Managerial Incentives, University of Pennsylvania working paper.

Gillan, S. L., J.C. Hartzell, A. Koch, A., & L. T. Starks, 2017, Getting the Incentives Right: Backfilling and Biases in Executive Compensation Data, Review of Financial Studies, 31(4), 1460-1498.

Gopalan, R., T. Milbourn, F. Song, and A. Thakor, 2014, Duration of Executive Compensation, Journal of Finance, 69(6), 2777–2817.

Gormley, T. and D. Matsa, 2016, Playing It Safe? Managerial Preferences, Risk, and Agency Conflicts, Journal of Financial Economics, 122 (3), 431-455.

Gormley, T., D. Matsa and T. Milbourn, 2013, CEO Compensation and Corporate Risk-Taking: Evidence from a Natural Experiment", Journal of Accounting and Economics, 56, 79-101.

Graham, J., C. Harvey and M. Puri, 2016, A Corporate Beauty Contest, Management Science, 63(9), 3044-3056.

*Graham, J., D. Kim and H. Kim, 2019, Executive Mobility in the United States, 1920 to 2011, Duke working paper.

*Graham, J., D. Kim and M. Leary, 2019, CEO-Board Dynamics, Journal of Financial Economics, forthcoming

*Guay, W., J. Kepler and D. Tsui, 2019, The Role of Executive Cash Bonuses in Providing Individual and Team Incentives, Journal of Financial Economics 133, 441-471.

Harford, J. and R. Schonlau, 2013, Does the Director Labor Market Offer Ex Post Settling-Up for CEOs? The Case of Acquisitions, Journal of Financial Economics, 110(1), 18-36.

Hayes, R., M. Lemmon and M. Qiu, 2012, Stock Options and Managerial Incentives for Risk Taking: Evidence from FAS 123R, Journal of Financial Economics, 105, 174-190.

*Hu, S., 2019, Learning about the Details in CEO Compensation, Baylor University working paper.

Jayaraman, S. and T. Milbourn, 2015, CEO Equity Incentives and Financial Misreporting: The Role of Auditor Expertise, The Accounting Review, 90(1), 321-350.

Jayaraman, S. and T. Milbourn, 2012, The Role of Stock Liquidity in Executive Compensation, The Accounting Review, 87(2), 537-564.

Jenter, D., and F. Kanaan, 2015, CEO Turnover and Relative Performance Evaluation, Journal of Finance, 70(5), 2155–2184.

Kaplan, S., M. Klebanov, M. Sorensen, 2012, Which CEO Characteristics and Abilities Matter?, Journal of Finance, 67, 973-1007.

Kolasinski, A. and X. Li, 2013, Can Strong Boards and Trading Their Own Firm’s Stock Help CEOs Make Better Decisions? Evidence from Acquisitions by Overconfident CEOs, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, 48(4), 1173-1206.

Korczak, P., T. Nguyen, and M. Scapin, 2018, Banker-Directors and CEO Inside Debt, University of Bristol working paper.

Lee, L., M. Lowry and S. Shu, 2018, Are all perks solely perks? Evidence from corporate jets, Journal of Corporate Finance, 48, 460-473.

Lie, E. and K. Yang, January 2018, Import Penetration and Executive Compensation, working paper, University of Iowa.

Lui, P. and Y. Xuan, 2019, The Contract Year Phenomenon in the Corner Office: An Analysis of Firm Behavior during CEO Contract Renewals, SSRN working paper.

Ma, P., J. Shin, and C. Wang, September 2017, Relative Performance Benchmarks: Do Boards Follow the Informativeness Principle? Working paper, Harvard Business School.

Minnick,K. L., Burns, N., Starks, 2017, CEO Tournaments: A Cross-Country Analysis of Causes, Cultural Influences and Consequences, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, 52(2), 519-551.

Morse, A., V. Nanda and A. Seru, 2011, Are Incentive Contracts Rigged by Powerful CEOs? Journal of Finance, 66, 1779-1821.

Pan, Y., T. Y. Wang, and M. S. Weisbach, 2016, CEO Investment Cycles, Review of Financial Studies, 29, 2955-2999.

Pan, Y., T. Y. Wang, and M. S. Weisbach. 2015. Learning About CEO Ability and Stock Return Volatility, Review of Financial Studies, 28(6), 1623-1666.

Peters, F. and A. Wagner, 2014, The Executive Turnover Risk Premium, Journal of Finance 69 (4), 1529-1563.

Sen, R. and R. Tumarkin, 2016, Stocking Up: Executive Optimism and Share Retention, Journal of Financial Economics 118(2), 399-430.

Shue, K. 2013, Executive networks and firm policies: evidence from the random assignment of MBA peers, Review of Financial Studies 26, 1401-1442.

Shue, K., and R. Townsend, 2017, How do quasi-random option grants affect CEO risk-taking? The Journal of Finance, 72, 2551-2588.

Shue, K., and R. Townsend, 2016, Growth through Rigidity: Understanding Recent Trends in Executive Compensation, Journal of Financial Economics, 123(1), 1-21.

Smith G. and P. Swan, 2014, Concentrated Institutional Investor Really Reduce Executive Compensation While Raising Incentives? Critical Finance Review, 3, 49-83.

6. Course Evaluation & Development

Feedback is regularly sought from students and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. At the end of this course, you will be asked to complete the myExperience survey, which provides a key source of student evaluative feedback. Your input into this quality enhancement process is extremely valuable in assisting us to meet the needs of our students and provide an effective and enriching learning experience. The results of all surveys are carefully considered and do lead to action towards enhancing educational quality.

​The current course format is influenced by versions of this course taught in previous years.  In previous years, negative comments generally related to the quantity of reading material, and the need to give students more hands-on practices.

Positive comments on undertaking a group project were noted, as were comments that suggested a less 'academic' research project.  This encouraged the move toward a case study and pitch-book mode of assessment as well as the inclusion of the M&A simulation game.  [These comments pertain to the M&A course where I am responsible for some lectures.]

7. Course Schedule

Note: for more information on the UNSW academic calendar and key dates including study period, exam, supplementary exam and result release, please visit:
Week Activity Topic Assessment/Other
Week 1: 17 SeptemberLecture

Overview of Corporate Governance Mechanisms and Theoretical Background

Class participation

Week 2: 24 SeptemberLecture

Endogeneity & Natural Experiments

Class Discussion

Week 3: 1 OctoberLecture

Matching Methods & Diff-in-Diff & Discontinuity Design Regression (DDR)

Class Discussion

Week 4: 8 OctoberLecture

Boards of Directors: Overview & Early Studies

Class Discussion

HW Assignment

Week 5: 10 October - Replacement ClassLecture

Boards of Directors: Recent Literature

Presentations/Critiques and Class Discussion

Week 6: 15 OctoberCritiques of Articles

Boards of Directors - Recent Literature

Presentations/Critiques and Class Discussion

Week 7: 22 OctoberCritiques of Articles

Boards of Directors - Recent Literature

Presentations/Critiques and Class Discussion

Week 8: 5 NovemberLecture

Overview of Executive Incentives

Class Discussion

HW Assignment

Week 9: 12 NovemberCritiques of Articles

Executive Incentives - Recent Literature

Presentations/Critiques and Class Discussion

Week 10: 19 November Critiques of Articles

Executive Incentives - Recent Literature

Presentations/Critiques and Class Discussion

Week 11: 24 September - iLabiLab: Practice Accessing Databases

Corporate Governance Databases

Class Participation

Practice Assignment

Week 12: 1 October - iLabiLab: Practice Accessing Databases

Corporate Governance Databases (continued)

Class Participation and Practice Assignment


8. Policies and Support

Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Business School places knowledge and capabilities at the core of its curriculum via seven Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs). These PLOs are systematically embedded and developed across the duration of all coursework programs in the Business School.

PLOs embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program. They articulate what you should know and be able to do upon successful completion of your degree.

Upon graduation, you should have a high level of specialised business knowledge and capacity for responsible business thinking, underpinned by ethical professional practice. You should be able to harness, manage and communicate business information effectively and work collaboratively with others. You should be an experienced problem-solver and critical thinker, with a global perspective, cultural competence and the potential for innovative leadership.

All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as required by the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

PLO 1: Business knowledge

Students will make informed and effective selection and application of knowledge in a discipline or profession, in the contexts of local and global business.

PLO 2: Problem solving

Students will define and address business problems, and propose effective evidence-based solutions, through the application of rigorous analysis and critical thinking.

PLO 3: Business communication

Students will harness, manage and communicate business information effectively using multiple forms of communication across different channels.

PLO 4: Teamwork

Students will interact and collaborate effectively with others to achieve a common business purpose or fulfil a common business project, and reflect critically on the process and the outcomes.

PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Students will develop and be committed to responsible business thinking and approaches, which are underpinned by ethical professional practice and sustainability considerations.

PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

Students will be aware of business systems in the wider world and actively committed to recognise and respect the cultural norms, beliefs and values of others, and will apply this knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.

PLO 7: Leadership development

Students will develop the capacity to take initiative, encourage forward thinking and bring about innovation, while effectively influencing others to achieve desired results.

These PLOs relate to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs.  Separate PLOs for honours and postgraduate research programs are included under 'Related Documents'.

Business School course outlines provide detailed information for students on how the course learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment/s contribute to the development of Program Learning Outcomes.



UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Professionals capable of ethical, self-directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

While our programs are designed to provide coverage of all PLOs and graduate capabilities, they also provide you with a great deal of choice and flexibility.  The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against the seven PLOs and four graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You can use a portfolio as evidence in employment applications as well as a reference for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.


UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

  • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
  • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
  • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
  • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz:


The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at:

For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: For information on student conduct see:

For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.

Student Responsibilities and Conduct

Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website.


It is expected that you will spend at least ten to twelve hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of twenty to twenty four hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

View more information on expected workload


Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

View more information on attendance

General Conduct and Behaviour

You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

View more information on student conduct

Health and Safety

UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

View more information on Health and Safety

Keeping Informed

You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.

Student Support and Resources

The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

Business School EQS Consultation Program
The Consultation Program offers academic writing, literacy and numeracy consultations, study skills, exam preparation for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, individual and group consultations.
Level 1, Room 1035, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 4508

Communication Resources
The Business School Communication and Academic Support programs provide online modules, communication workshops and additional online resources to assist you in developing your academic writing.

Business School Student Centre
The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
02 9385 3189

UNSW Learning Centre
The UNSW Learning Centre provides academic skills support services, including workshops and resources, for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
02 9385 2060

Educational Support Service
Educational Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process. Check their website to request an appointment or to register in the Academic Success Program.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
02 9385 4734

Library services and facilities for students
The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
Main Library, F21.
02 9385 2650

Moodle eLearning Support
Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
02 9385 3331

UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
02 9385 1333

Disability Support Services
UNSW Disability Support Services provides assistance to students who are trying to manage the demands of university as well as a health condition, learning disability or who have personal circumstances that are having an impact on their studies. Disability Advisers can arrange to put in place services and educational adjustments to make things more manageable so that students are able to complete their course requirements. To receive educational adjustments for disability support, students must first register with Disability Services.
Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
02 9385 4734

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 5418

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