Private Sector Organization in Anti-Corruption: An explorative study of the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network

Anne-Sophie Juul Nielsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Background As markets have been globalized, corruption has become a widespread and crossborder issue. The traditional actors of governance are challenged in dealing with the global issue and there is a growing realization that the private sector can and should work to fight corruption. The private sector is represented in public regulation, such as the UK Bribery Act that emphasizes corporate self-policing, and in initiatives created by international organizations and international non-governmental organizations that focus on the private sector working against corruption in all its forms. The private sector conveys adherence to these national laws and initiatives by adopting more sophisticated compliance programs, but a new approach among private actors is also visible. Private actors are increasingly joining forces in sectors by creating collective action initiatives. Objectives A study of a specific collective action initiative in the maritime sector is reported here. Private sector organization in anti-corruption is explored by studying the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network as a private regulator of the maritime industry. How the initiative’s anti-corruption measures can be legitimized towards the public and what significance it has on public-private regulation is investigated. Methods As private sector organization in anti-corruption and specifically the Maritime Anti- Corruption Network are unexplored topics, I conduct exploratory research with specific focus on a single case study. The predominant empirical data is gathered from interviews, and official documents and web research is used to gather information on collective action initiatives on anticorruption in other industries. Results Qualitative results show that the private initiative in the maritime industry is organizing itself as a political actor. By working towards organizing itself as a complete organization, or a club, that collaborates with public actors in hot-spot regions, the collection of private actors succeed in gaining authority from various public and private actors. Conclusions A theoretical analysis, backed by interviews with member representatives, indicates that public regulation affects the creation of private initiatives, and private initiatives can build up authority by adopting organizational elements that result in complete organization, or club organization. With political authority private regulation affects the public and therefore public and private regulation near each other.

EducationsMSc in International Business and Politics, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages155