Philip M. Nichols

Philip M. Nichols
  • Joseph Kolodny Professor of Social Responsibility in Business
  • Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics

Contact Information

  • office Address:

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

Research Interests: corruption, emerging economies, international trade and investment

Links: CV

Overview

Education

JD, Duke University, 1988; LLM, Duke University, 1988; AB, Harvard University, 1982

Career and Recent Professional Awards; Teaching Awards

Fulbright Fellowship; Hoeber Award (best article), 2011; Ralph J. Bunche Award (best international paper), 2002; Lindback Award, 2000; David W. Hauck Award for Outstanding Teaching, 1996; Excellence in Teaching Award (Undergraduate Division), 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2006, 2012, 2013;  Rappaport Core Teaching Award 2004, 2009; Intergreek Council Award for Outstanding Professor, 1996; Huntsman Program Senior Teaching Award, 2013

Academic Positions Held

Wharton: 1992-present. Visiting Appointments: National University of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, India; Korea University, Seoul, South Korea; Singapore Management University

Other Positions

Co-Chair, Anti-Corruption Law Interest Group, American Society of International Law

Judicial Clerk, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1988-89

Reviewer, American Business Law Journal

Past-President, Academy of Legal Studies in Business; Past Co-Chair, United Nations Committee on Electronic Commerce and Trade Facilitation Law Group (Genève, Switzerland); Past Co-Chair, International Economic Law Group, American Society of International Law

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Research

  • Philip M. Nichols, Promoting Creating Shared Value Strategies as a Tool for Controlling Corruption. In Mastering Corruption: The Practitioner’s View, edited by Wolfgang Amann & Agata Stachowicz-Stanusch, (Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, 2019), pp. 147-165

    Abstract: Creating Shared Value is strategy an individual business firm may choose to adopt in an effort to improve its competitiveness and increase its profits. The essence of the strategy is to improve social structures in which the business is embedded or on which it relies. Corruption weakens social structures and degrades society. Corruption also adds expenses and difficulties to the conduct of business. Individual business firms, therefore, should consider undertaking projects to reduce corruption in order to make themselves more competitive and more profitable. This chapter applies research on successful implementation of Creating Shared Value strategies to the current state of knowledge about corruption and finds that corruption presents an easier path to implementation than strategies that deal with other social weaknesses. The chapter concludes with a brief hypothetical illustration.

  • Philip M. Nichols, Article 39. In The United Nations Convention Against Corruption: A Commentary, edited by Cecily Rose, Michael Kubiciel & Oliver Landwehr, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019), pp. 389-395

    Abstract: An explanation of Article 39 of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. Article 39 is the third of three articles in the Convention, along with Articles 37 and 38, which oblige States Parties to facilitate cooperation with investigatory and prosecuting agencies. Article 39 obliges States Parties to facilitate cooperation between entities, and to consider facilitating cooperation between individuals, in the private sector and public investigatory and prosecuting agencies.

  • Philip M. Nichols, Article 38. In The United Nations Convention Against Corruption: A Commentary, edited by Cecily Rose, Michael Kubiciel & Oliver Landwehr, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019), pp. 383-388

    Abstract: This chapter explains Article 38 of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. Article 38 is the second of three articles, along with Articles 37 and 39, which oblige States Parties to create measures to encourage cooperation among different parties in the detection and prosecution of corrupt acts. Article 38 obliges States Parties to facilitate cooperation between investigatory and prosecuting agencies and other parts of the government. Intragovernmental cooperation is generally recognized as an “essential” component of an undertaking to reduce public sector corruption.

  • Philip M. Nichols, Article 37. In The United Nations Convention Against Corruption: A Commentary, edited by Cecily Rose, Michael Kubiciel, and Oliver Landwehr, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019), pp. 374-382

    Abstract: This chapter explains Article 37 of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. Article 37 is the first of three articles, along with Articles 38 and 39, which oblige States Parties to create measures to encourage cooperation among different parties in the detection and prosecution of corrupt acts. Article 37 requires States Parties to develop procedures to secure cooperation from parties to corruption. In many jurisdictions such parties are called “collaborators of justice,” in some jurisdictions they are called “cooperating witnesses.” Regardless of the appellation, these witnesses present special opportunities and special difficulties to investigators and prosecutors. They present special opportunities because they have unique knowledge of the hidden activities of organized criminal activity. However, the very fact of their involvement and association with the organized criminal activity subjects them to high risk of intimidation and punishment, and prosecutors must take care to protect the safety of such witnesses.

  • Philip M. Nichols (2019), Maximizing Stakeholder Trust as a Tool for Controlling Corruption, Crime, Law and Social Change, 71 (2), pp. 171-195. 10.1007/s10611-017-9767-2

    Abstract: Corruption, particularly bribery of government officials, inflicts substantial damage on people, society, and the world, and warrants control. Collective efforts to control corruption tend to focus on rules and compliance with those rules. This paper suggests that collective action also consider the creation of strong ethical cultures in business firms. Implementation of such programs is impeded by the difficulty in prescribing a course of action and by the difficulty in measuring the strength of an ethical culture. This paper suggests the measurement and maximization of stakeholder trust as a proxy for measures of ethical culture. The qualities that engender stakeholder trust correspond with ethical behaviors. Stakeholder trust confers benefits on business firms, which will incentivize and justify its measurement. Implementation of a program focused on ethical culture would benefit from collective action both by normalizing behaviors and in the development of sophisticated measurement tools.

  • Diana C. Robertson and Philip M. Nichols, Bribery and the Study of Decision Making. In Thinking About Bribery: Neuroscience, Moral Cognition and the Psychology of Bribery, edited by Philip M. Nichols & Diana C. Robertson, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017), pp. 1-30

    Abstract: This chapter introduces a book about bribery. More precisely, the book is about how people think about offering or accepting a bribe. Bribery is an iteration of corruption, and corruption shapes the modern world. Some governments exist because of it, some will collapse under its weight. Corruption mobilizes the protests and motivates the opposition of millions, while millions more suffer its inequities. Corruption distorts the flow of the world’s resources and its capital, and renders markets dysfunctional. It is virtually impossible to turn to a news outlet without encountering stories of corruption or popular reaction to corruption. It certainly is impossible to understand the world today without taking corruption into account. This book offers a new way to think about bribery. This book explores the fundamental question of why individuals offer or accept bribes. The book approaches this question from the perspective of recent scholarship in multiple disciplines, including cognitive neuroscience, behavioral ethics, and psychology. Much of the research that has been conducted on bribery investigates the antecedent conditions of bribery in a particular country or culture, the nature and forms of bribery, and the impact of bribery on a country’s economy.  Very little research looks at bribery from the point of view of the individual faced with the decision to bribe. This book starts to fill that gap.

  • Philip M. Nichols and Diana C. Robertson, Thoughts on the Control of Bribery. In Thinking About Bribery: Neuroscience, Moral Cognition and the Psychology of Bribery, edited by Philip M. Nichols & Diana C. Robertson, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017), pp. 239-265

    Abstract: This chapter ties together the entries in an edited book on what the sciences of the mind reveal about bribery. The chapters in this book apply several different sciences of the mind to the consideration by an individual whether to pay or accept a bribe. The notion that an individual thinks about the payment or acceptance of a bribe is not new; it was suggested by rational choice theorists many years ago. The contributions made by the chapters in this book, however, test and challenge the assumptions made by rational choice theories, and offer new models to describe the complexity of thought surrounding bribery. These contributions could have immediate application in attempts to control bribery. Bribery inflicts tremendous damage on the world; understandably, the social and political landscapes are replete with programs attempting to control corruption. While many of these programs recognize that attitudes toward and thinking about bribery must change, few if any are grounded in a real understanding of how people think about the payment or acceptance of bribes. This chapter reviews the contributions made in this book, and shows how they could be used to improve or create programs to control bribery.

  • Philip M. Nichols and Diana C. Robertson (Eds.), Thinking About Bribery: Neuroscience, Moral Cognition, and Psychology of Bribery (Cambridge University Press, 2017)

  • Philip M. Nichols, What is Organizational Corruption?. In The Handbook of Business and Corruption: Cross-Sectoral Experiences, edited by Michael S. Aßländer & Sarah Hudson, (Bingley, England: Emerald Publishing, 2017), pp. 3-23

    Abstract: In its most basic usage, “corruption” means a change from functional or good to dysfunctional or bad. This definition is far too broad to be of use to scholars or policymakers, who need a more precise, shared definition so that they can communicate meaningfully with one another. Scholars and policymakers have developed scores of definitions, which this chapter briefly explains. Within this galaxy of definitions, scholars and policymakers have tended to favor one definition, which this chapter calls the “general definition.” The general definition describes organizational corruption as: the abuse or misuse of power or trust for self-interested purposes rather than the purposes for which power or trust was given. This chapter discusses and illustrates the general definition. The chapter concludes by pointing out that the general definition is only one definition. In many places, the public is deeply concerned with phenomena such as undue influence, which should also be taken into consideration as a form of corruption even though it falls outside of the general definition.

  • Philip M. Nichols, Public Sector Corruption and the Private Business Firm (Forthcoming) (Oxford University Press, 2016)

Teaching

Current 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.

    LGST101005 ( Syllabus )

    LGST101301 ( Syllabus )

  • LGST216 - Emerging Economies

    This course explores important issues in conducting business internationally in and with emerging economies. Much of the course attempts to define emerging economies and to understand the changes occurring in these countries. The course also examines the position of emerging economies in the global context, and how broad social issues affect the development of emerging economies and the ability to establish relationships or conduct business in emerging economies.

    LGST216001 ( Syllabus )

Past Courses

  • EAS 499 - SENIOR CAPSTONE

    The Senior Capstone Project is required for all BAS degree students, in lieu of the senior design course. The Capstone Project provides an opportunity for the student to apply the theoretical ideas and tools learned from other courses. The project is usually applied, rather than theoretical, exercise, and should focus on a real world problem related to the career goals of the student. The one-semester project may be completed in either the fall or sprong term of the senior year, and must be done under the supervision of a sponsoring faculty member. To register for this course, the student must submit a detailed proposal, signed by the supervising professor, and the student's faculty advisor, to the Office of Academic Programs two weeks prior to the start of the term.

  • 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.

  • LGST202 - LAW OF CORP MGMT & FNCE

    This course provides an introduction to the law of corporate management and finance, focusing on large publicly held corporations. It is presented from the perspective that before too long virtually all students will serve on one or more corporate boards of directors and that each should, therefore, know about the duties owed by directors and officers to those toward whom they bear a fiduciary duty. The course covers the basic obligations of corporate directors and managers under state corporate law and the federal securities laws. It also considers the rights and responsibilities of other major stake holders in the governance of public corporations, including shareholders, creditors/bondholders, employees (including corporate executives), investment bankers, corporate lawyers, and accountants. Particular attention is given to the law of mergers and acquisitions. Important issues of social policy concerning large business corporations are also discussed.

  • LGST214 - INT'L BUS TRANSACTIONS

    This course aims to familiarize students with and prepare students for the conduct of international transactions. Students will work their way through a series of hypothetical trade transactions, placed against a background of concepts and general theories. Students will take a hypothetical firm through a series of possible transnational investments, again after discussion of concepts and general theories. Throughout, the course will discuss issues of importance to emerging economies. Students should be able to make thoughtful choices rather than simply reciting bullet points about international business transactions.

  • LGST216 - EMERGING ECONOMIES

    This course explores important issues in conducting business internationally in and with emerging economies. Much of the course attempts to define emerging economies and to understand the changes occurring in these countries. The course also examines the position of emerging economies in the global context, and how broad social issues affect the development of emerging economies and the ability to establish relationships or conduct business in emerging economies.

  • LGST230 - SOCIAL IMPACT & RESP

    What role can business play in helping to meet global societal needs, whether it involves the environment, improving health, expanding education or eradicating poverty? Is there any responsibility on the part of business to help meet those needs? What are models of successful business engagement in this area? How should success be measured? Are there limits to what businesses can and should do, and what institutional changes will enable businesses and entrepreneurs to better succeed? This survey course provides students the opportunity to engage in the critical analysis of these and other questions that lie at the foundation of social impact and responsibility as an area of study. The course involves case studies, conceptual issues, and talks by practitioners. The course is designed to help students develop a framework to address the question: How should business enterprises and business thinking be engaged to improve society in areas not always associated with business? The course is required for the secondary concentration in Social Impact and Responsibility

  • 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.

  • LGST830 - SOC IMP & RESPONSIBILITY

    What role can business play in helping to meet global societal needs, whether it involves the environment, improving health, expanding education or eradicating poverty? Is there any responsibility on the part of business to help meet those needs? What are models of successful business engagement in this area? How should success be measured? Are there limits to what businesses can and should do, and what institutional changes will enable businesses and entrepreneurs to better succeed? This survey course provides students the opportunity to engage in the critical analysis of these and other questions that lie at the foundation of social impact and responsibility as an area of study. The course involves case studies, conceptual issues, and talks by practitioners. The course is designed to help students develop a framework to address the question: "How should business enterprises and business thinking be engaged to improve society in areas not always associated with business?" Format: Twelve-session discussion-based course with midterm exam and final project

Awards and Honors

  • Undergraduate Teaching Award, 2013
  • Undergraduate Teaching Award, 2012
  • Hoeber Award, 2011
  • Rappaport Core Teaching Award, 2009
  • Undergraduate Teaching Award, 2006
  • Rappaport Core Teaching Award, 2004
  • The Ralph J. Bunche Award for the Best International Law Paper by the Academy of Legal Studies in Business, 2002
  • Undergraduate Teaching Award, 2001
  • Lindback Award for Teaching, 2000
  • Undergraduate Teaching Award, 2000
  • Lindback Award for Teaching, 2000
  • Undergraduate Teaching Award, 1999
  • Undergraduate Teaching Award, 1998
  • Undergraduate Teaching Award, 1997
  • David W. Hauck Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching, 1996
  • Undergraduate Teaching Award, 1996
  • Intergreek Council Award for Outstanding Professor, 1996
  • Undergraduate Teaching Award, 1995
  • Undergraduate Teaching Award, 1994

In the News

Knowledge @ Wharton

Activity

Latest Research

Philip M. Nichols, Promoting Creating Shared Value Strategies as a Tool for Controlling Corruption. In Mastering Corruption: The Practitioner’s View, edited by Wolfgang Amann & Agata Stachowicz-Stanusch, (Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, 2019), pp. 147-165
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In the News

Can Venezuela Recover from Its Crisis?

There are viable, nonviolent ways of resolving Venezuela’s grave economic and political issues, experts say.

Knowledge @ Wharton - 2019/02/26
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Awards and Honors

Undergraduate Teaching Award 2013
All Awards