Business corruption in Vietnam


This PhD project explores how companies in Vietnam interpret corruption, unethical business behaviour and global anti-corruption norms.


After completing studies in International Business Law and International Relations in France, Candice worked for several years in the administration and legal sector. In 2016, she completed a postgraduate diploma and a minor thesis on anti-corruption initiatives in Myanmar at The University of Melbourne’s School of Government. She is now currently completing her PhD research project on the transfer of business anti-corruption norms in Vietnam in the Department of Business Law and Taxation, Monash University.


Project background and aims

During the 1990s, an alliance of international intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations proposed a set of regulatory norms designed to reduce corruption. Many governments in developing countries, such as Vietnam, enacted these global anti-corruption norms into their domestic law. Research shows that these regulatory norms have failed to reduce corruption in Vietnam, and many other developing countries. This article draws on empirical research to understand why the anti-corruption norms have not produced the expected outcomes in Vietnam.

This project explores the area of business compliance. Based on data collected from semi-structured interviews with business managers in Vietnam and archival research, it examines how businesses in Vietnam interpret and comply with global anti-corruption norms. It investigates why different types of companies in Vietnam engage with and respond to these norms in different ways. This investigation aims to generate some predictive insights into how companies are likely to respond to anti-corruption regimes based on global anti-corruption norms.


This project is based on empirical legal research and uses an interpretive approach to examine why the interpretation of global anti-corruption norms is fragmented in Vietnam. It analyses the ‘communicative processes’ operated among companies in Vietnam through which they build their epistemic assumptions related to global anti-corruption norms. Since epistemic assumptions are identified through narratives, this research project uses discourse analysis as method of content analysis and interviews as data collection method.


This project suggests that global anti-corruption norms have not been effective in reducing corruption in Vietnam because there is fragmentation in the way companies in Vietnam interpret and respond to these norms. This fragmentation results from differences in the epistemic communities that companies draw upon to interpret global anti-corruption norms.


  • 2018 Vietnamese Legal Studies Graduate Student Workshop Presentation
  • 2018 Asian Law and Society Association (ALSA) Conference Presentation