William S. Laufer

William S. Laufer
  • Julian Aresty Endowed Professor
  • Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics, Sociology, and Criminology
  • Director: The Carol and Lawrence Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    670 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
    3730 Walnut Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: corporate criminal law, corporate ethics, criminology, law and psychology

Links: Carol and Lawrence Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research

Overview

Education

PhD, Rutgers University; JD, Northeastern University School of Law; BA, The Johns Hopkins University

Career and Recent Professional Awards; Teaching Awards; Book Awards

David W. Hauck Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Undergraduate Division, 1991, 1997 (first recipient non-tenured faculty member, 1991; first recipient of award for non-tenured and tenured faculty, 1997); Marc & Sheri Rapaport Undergraduate Core Teaching Award, 2002, 2012; Excellence in Teaching Award (1990-1993, 1996-2001; 2004-2006; 2008-2010; 2013-2015); Graduate Division Excellence in Teaching Award, 2001, 2002; Miller-Sherrerd MBA Core Teaching Award, 2000-2003

National White-Collar Crime Research Consortium: Outstanding Book Award, 2010

Academic Positions Held

Wharton: 1989-present (named Julian Aresty Endowed Professor, 2007); Director, Carol and Lawrence Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research, 2000-2010 and 2013-present; Anheuser-Busch Term Assistant Professor of Legal Studies, 1989-95; Associate Director, Sellin Center for Studies in Criminology and Criminal Law, 1989-90). School of Arts and Sciences: Chair, Department of Criminology, 2008-2009; Graduate Chair, Department of Criminology, 2009-2010;  Faculty Affiliate, Penn Program on Regulation, 2014 to present; Visiting appointment: New York University School of Law, 2004-5; Faculty, Joint Vienna Institute, Vienna, Austria, 2013.

Professional Leadership 2002-present

Consultant, Private Sector Development and Competitiveness Project, World Bank, 2012-2014; Member, Academic Council, Hills Program Governance, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C., 2002-present; Regional (North America) Secretary General, International Society of Social Defense and Humane Criminal Policy, Economic and Social Council, United Nations, 2004-present; Member, Working Group on Business-Led Collective Action Against Corruption, World Bank Institute, 2007-2013; Member, Working Group, PRME Anti-Corruption Working Group, UN Global Compact, 2010-present; Member, United Nations Global Compact Academic Advisory Team, 2006-2007; Advisory Board Member, Business Contributions to the Millennium Development Goals, United Nations Development Programme, 2006-2007; Member, International Advisory Board, Program on Global Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Competitiveness, World Bank Institute, 2005-2008; Board Member, Center for Political Accountability (Washington, DC), 2009-present; Faculty Advisory Committee, Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership, 2014- present; Senior Advisor, International Infrastructure Finance Fund, 2013-present; Member, Expert Advisory Committee, World Economic Forum, Anti-Corruption Collective Action Project in the Infrastructure and Urban Development Industries, 2014-present.

Continue Reading

Research

Teaching

Past Courses

  • LGST101 - LAW AND SOCIAL VALUES

    This course presents law as an evolving social institution, with special emphasis on the legal regulation of business in the context of social values. It considers basic concepts of law and legal process, in the U.S. and other legal systems, and introduces the fundamentals of rigorous legal analysis. An in-depth examination of contract law is included.

  • LGST220 - INT'L BUSINESS ETHICS

    This course is a multidisciplinary, interactive study of business ethics within a global economy. A central aim of the course is to enable students to develop a framework to address ethical challenges as they arise within and across different countries. Alternative theories about acting ethically in global environments are presented, and critical current issues are introduced and analyzed. Examples include bribery, global sourcing, environmental sustainability, social reports, intellectual property, e-commerce, and dealing with conflicting standards and values across cultures. As part of this study, the course considers non-Western ethical traditions and practices as they relate to business.

  • LGST299 - SEMINAR IN LAW & SOCIETY

    A study of the nature, functions, and limits of law as an agency of societal policy. Each semester an area of substantive law is studied for the purpose of examining the relationship between legal norms developed and developing in the area and societal problems and needs.

  • LGST611 - RESP IN GLOBAL MGMT

    This course uses the global business context to introduce students to important legal, ethical and cultural challenges they will face as business leaders. Cases and materials will address how business leaders, constrained by law and motivated to act responsibly in a global context, should analyze relevant variables to make wise decisions. Topics will include an introduction to the basic theoretical frameworks used in the analysis of ethical issues, such as right-based, consequentialist-based, and virtue-based reasoning, and conflicting interpretations of corporate responsibility. The course will include materials that introduce students to basic legal (common law vs. civil law) and normative (human rights) regimes at work in the global economy as well as sensitize them to the role of local cultural traditions in global business activity. Topics may also include such issues as comparative forms of corporate governance, bribery and corruption in global markets, human rights issues, diverse legal compliance systems, corporate responses to global poverty, global environmental responsibilities, and challenges arising when companies face conflicting ethical demands between home and local, host country mores. The pedagogy emphasizes globalized cases, exercises, and theoretical materials from the fields of legal studies, business ethics and social responsibility. Format: class participation, midterm and final exams. Materials: coursepack.

  • LGST820 - INT'L BUSINESS ETHICS

    This course is a multidisciplinary, interactive study of business ethics within a global economy. A central aim of the course is to enable students to develop a framework to address ethical challenges as they arise within and across different countries. Alternative theories about acting ethically in global environments are presented, and critical current issues are introduced and analyzed. Examples include bribery, global sourcing, environmental sustainability, social reports, intellectual property, e-commerce, and dealing with conflicting standards and values across cultures. As part of this study, the course considers non-Western ethical traditions and practices as they relate to business.

  • LGST921 - FOUNDATIONS OF BUS LAW

    This course will introduce students to basic jurisprudential discussions and debates that relate to understanding business in society. Topics will include a general overview of the nature of law and its relationship to ethics; history of legal thought, business in society; theories of contract, torts, and property; criminal law as it applies to business situations; and theories of the business enterprise and its regulation. Selected topics will also be chosen in accordance with the interest of participants in the seminar.

Awards and Honors

Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching Award (1990)

Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching Award (1991)

David W. Hauck Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Undergraduate Division (1991) (first recipient non-tenured faculty member)

Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching Award (1992)

Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching Award (1993)

Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching Award (1996)

Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching Award (1997)

David W. Hauck Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Undergraduate Division (1997) (first recipient of award for non-tenured and tenured faculty)

Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching Award (1998)

Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching Award (1999)

Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching Award (2000)

Miller-Sherrerd MBA Core Teaching Award (2000)

Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching Award (2001)

Graduate Division Excellence in Teaching Award (2001)

Miller-Sherrerd MBA Core Teaching Award (2002)

Marc & Sheri Rapaport Undergraduate Core Teaching Award (2002)

Graduate Division Excellence in Teaching Award (2002)

Miller-Sherrerd MBA Core Teaching Award (2003)

Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching Award (2004)

Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching Award (2005)

Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching Award (2006)

Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching Award (2008)

Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching Award (2009)

Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching Award (2010)

Marc & Sheri Rapaport Undergraduate Core Teaching Award (2012)

Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching Award (2013)

Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching Award (2014)

Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching Award (2015)

 

National White-Collar Crime Research Consortium: Outstanding Book Award, 2010

  • Undergraduate Division Excellence in Teaching Award, 2014
  • National White-Collar Crime Research Consortium: Outstanding Book Award, 2010
  • Marc & Sheri Rapaport Undergraduate Core Teaching Award, 2002
  • Graduate Division Excellence in Teaching Award, 2001
  • Miller-Sherrerd MBA Core Teaching Award, 2000
  • Hauck Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Undergraduate Division, 1997
  • Undergraduate Division Excellence in Teaching Award, 1996
  • Undergraduate Division Excellence in Teaching Award, 1992
  • Hauck Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Undergraduate Division, 1991
  • Undergraduate Division Excellence in Teaching Award, 1990

In the News

  • Why ‘personhood’ is powerful A word that means both more and less than human, Boston Globe - 11/20/2011
  • Rolling Stone: Is the SEC Covering Up Wall Street Crimes?, Rolling Stone - 08/17/2011
  • Enough Is Enough WHITE-COLLAR CRIMINALS: THEY LIE THEY CHEAT THEY STEAL AND THEY’VE BEEN GETTING AWAY WITH IT FOR TOO LONG, Fortune Magazine - 03/18/2002
  • Cruise Officials to Report Accusations of Crimes at Sea, The New York Times - 07/27/1999

Knowledge @ Wharton

Activity

Latest Research

William S. Laufer and Mihailis E. Diamantis, The Prosecution and Punishment of Corporate Criminality, 15 Annual Review of Law and Social Sciences ___ (2018).
All Research

In the News

Phishing, Bribery and Falsification: Combating the Complexities of Carbon Fraud

"Cap and trade" systems, in which corporations that exceed their allotment of carbon dioxide emissions are allowed to purchase certificates from those with low emissions, were designed to combat global climate change by giving polluters a financial incentive to reduce, or offset, their impact on the environment. But carbon markets in Europe and elsewhere are increasingly falling victim to fraud in the form of phishing, bribery and other schemes. Wharton experts and others say combating these crimes is a complicated problem, which thus far has no clear solution.

Knowledge @ Wharton - 2010/06/9
All News

Awards and Honors

Undergraduate Division Excellence in Teaching Award 2014
All Awards