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Corruption prevention commitment determinants and consequences (Advert Reference: RDF22/BL/AFM/SARHAN)

   Faculty of Business and Law

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  Dr Ahmed Sarhan, Prof Aly Salama  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Pandora papers and FinCEN files reveal that corruption has become a rising trend globally. Developing countries’ resources are exhausted, and developed countries (e.g., the UK) are used as hubs for tax avoidance and money laundry. Meanwhile, the growing number of corporate financial scandals reveals the importance of monitoring corporate corruption as an ethical, social, and economic issue (Blanc et al., 2018; Islam et al., 2018). Corporate corruption is not restricted to specific economic, political, or social characteristics; it is a global phenomenon that has damaging results on businesses, economies, and societies (Nguyen & van Dijk, 2012; Zeume, 2017). International organisations (e.g., UN and OECD) and governments have recognised the destructive consequences of corruption on society’s welfare and economic health; therefore, they have issued guidance, conventions, or recommendations to fight corruption (Branco & Delgado, 2012; Islam et al., 2018). Recently, businesses have begun incorporating corruption prevention measures in their governance structure and/or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies (Branco & Delgado 2012; Blanc et al., 2019). Businesses adoption/disclosure of corruption fighting measures is to avoid corruption negative economic and legal consequences or to reflect their ethical and CSR commitments (Luo, 2005; Islam et al., 2018). However, such measures’ competence in preventing corruption depends on whether businesses follow/disclose these measures as a complement to/integral component of their CSR agenda and not just a greenwashing technique. The recent evidence of corporate financial corruption worldwide encourages scholars to study corporate measures/disclosures to fight corruption and its impact on businesses in different contexts, particularly with the limited data/measures of corruption on the firm level. Previous studies report that individuals, firm- and country-level factors affect organisational behaviour, including anti-corruption measures/disclosures (e.g., Ullah et al., 2019).

This project will investigate corporate and national factors that determine corporate adoption/disclosure of anti-corruption measures in corporate communications, including annual reports. It also attempts to examine the effect of corporate anti-corruption commitment on business (e.g., market and accounting performance). Another proposed further research direction is to explore whether financial analysts care about anti-corruption measures in corporate communications. In doing so, it uses panel data analysis and employs a sample of firms listed in developed and developing countries during the last ten years.

The supervision team will consist of Dr Sarhan and Professor Salama.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Please note eligibility requirement:

  • Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
  • Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
  • Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere or if they have previously been awarded a PhD.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see 

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF22/BL/AFM/SARHAN) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: 18 February 2022

Start Date: 1 October 2022

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff and students. We welcome applications from all members of the community.

Funding Notes

Each studentship supports a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2021/22 full-time study this is £15,609 per year) and full tuition fees. UK and international (including EU) candidates may apply.
Studentships are available for applicants who wish to study on a part-time basis over 5 years (0.6 FTE, stipend £9,365 per year and full tuition fees) in combination with work or personal responsibilities.
Please also read the full funding notes which include advice for international and part-time applicants.


Sarhan, A.A., Ntim, C.G. and Al-Najjar B., 2019 ‘Board Diversity, Corporate Governance, Performance and Executive Pay’, International Journal of Finance & Economics. [ABS 3-Star]. Vol. 24 No. 2 pp. 761-786.
Sarhan, A.A., and Ntim, C.G. and Al-Najjar B., 2019 ‘Antecedents of Audit Quality in MENA Countries: The Effect of Firm- and Country-Level Governance Quality’, Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation. [ABS 3-Star]. Vol. 35, pp. 85-107.
Alsaifi, K., Elnahass, M., & Salama, A. (2020). Carbon disclosure and financial performance: UK environmental policy. Business Strategy and the Environment, 29(2), 711-726.
Elnahass, M., Salama, A., & Yusuf, N. (2021). Earnings Management and Internal Governance Mechanisms: The Role of Religiosity. Research in International Business and Finance, 101565.
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