Initiatives & Programs

The mission of the Center for the Study of Business Ethics, Regulation & Crime (C-BERC) at the University of Maryland is to generate new ideas and information at the intersection of theory, policy and practice that will serve as a resource for business leaders, policymakers, and practitioners. C-BERC embraces a unique interdisciplinary approach to the legal and ethical challenges of modern business operations by integrating and extending research in the fields of business ethics, regulation and criminology adding to the broad range of academic and interdisciplinary fields students can study at the University of Maryland.



Preventing and Controlling Corporate Crime:  The Dual Role of Corporate Boards and Legal Sanctions.

Sally S. Simpson, Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Maryland
Debra L. Shapiro, Organization and Management, University of Maryland
Christine Beckman, Organization and Management, University of Maryland
Gerald S. Martin, Finance, American University
Funded by the National Institute of Justice, 2016-2017.

In this study, researchers evaluate whether certain characteristics of corporate boards (their composition and structure, especially diversity) affect the risk of firm illegality (financial malfeasance, anti-competitive behavior, environmental violations) and how the actions of the government—either independently or via changes in firm governance structures can lower the risk of repeat offending.  To examine these questions, our study utilizes a within-firm analysis of a panel of 3000 publicly traded companies, controlling for a number of firm-specific factors.

Offending and Victimization of Corporate America:  A Blueprint for Estimating the Prevalence of Known White Collar and Cybercrime Incidents in the U.S.

David Maimon, Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Maryland
Sally S. Simpson, Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Maryland
Alan Neustadtl, Sociology, University of Maryland
Bill Rand, Business Management, North Carolina State University
Pilot project funded by BSOS Dean’s Research Initiative 2016-2017.

There is no systematic collection of cybercrime or business offending incidents in the United States. Indeed, even the most basic information about the rate of U.S. corporate victimization from cybercrime incidents remains unknown, impeding research on cybercrime in numerous academic disciplines and rendering decision-making at all levels regarding cybersecurity practices. Similarly, violations by companies are segmented by specific types of laws, offenses, and legal authority/sanctioning agencies. Consequently, it is impossible to create sets of data that can credibly be used to examine causal mechanisms or policy effects of interventions. In this project, the research team seeks to address these deficiencies by initiating the collection of five years of data on white-collar and cybercrime in large corporations and developing an open-source data set that will be able to support analyses of trends of cybercrime and white-collar crime.

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