Course Information
Introduction and Background

Corporate governance is one of the most topical and controversial areas of business and finance. The issues relating to the relationships between shareholders, management and the board of directors in corporations go to the heart of the differences in financial systems around the world. Countries and states have resisted pressures to accept unimpeded markets in corporate control, and as a consequence there are many different regulatory models of conduct for corporate entities, and different traditions have different priorities. Some models focus on the protection of investors, as has been the Anglo-American tradition, whereas other models hold job security to be of a more crucial importance, as has been seen in for example Japan. Despite conscious and persistent efforts, however, to date no one has succeeded in putting forth a prescriptive list of recommendations for good corporate governance with universal relevance. This points to the fact that different types of corporate governance rules are required for firms in different industries and stages of development. The size, ownership pattern and general economic context of a firm also has implications for how it should best be run.

This UNITAR e-Learning programme in corporate governance will provide a sound foundation in the fundamental characteristics of the concept. By giving an overview of the scope, trends and developments in this area of finance, and looking more closely at common corporate failures and probable solutions, the participant will be equipped with the analytical skills and technical insights required to understand and evaluate different approaches to structuring the ownership, control and regulation of corporations. The skills and techniques which are learned are relevant for a wide range of professionals, and provide useful lessons for experts and laymen alike.

Registration Status: OPEN
Deadline for Enrollment: when slots are full
Course Dates: November 15 to December 17, 2010
Estimated learning time: Minimum of 35 hours
Format: Online/Internet-based (asynchronous)
Language of Instruction: English
Fees: US $ 400/-
Helpline: UNITAR Geneva (Course Administration and Technical Questions)
  Course Objectives  
The overall objective of this course is to provide professionals and interested individuals with powerful and structured techniques to enhance their understanding of corporate governance issues, including the prevailing recommended models in different parts of the world. It will look at common and recent corporate failures, the underlying reasons for these, as well as ways in which such problems can be resolved.
  Target Audience  

This foundation course is primarily designed for professionals in the spheres of government, public and private finance sector development, investment, trade, corporate, treasury, and banking. Professionals from public, private, civil society and academic circles will all benefit from this e-Learning course.


  Course Structure / Outline  

This online course is divided into three interrelated modules. Each module presents theoretical and conceptual materials prepared by UNITAR, and incorporates a mix of guided self study and online interaction between peers. There will be a compulsory quiz at the end of each module, as well as a final written assignment, which must be completed to qualify for a course certificate.

Course Outline

This course will comprise of the following modules, each covering a one-week period.


  • Introduction
  • Why Corporate Governance?
  • Ownership and Control: A Basic Corporation and Governance Issues
  • Corporate Governance Codes: Whose Interests Are Protected?
  • Law and Corporate Governance: Corporate Failures and Responses
  • Different Corporate Governance Systems
  • Module Conclusion


  • Introduction
  • International Consensus: Corporate Governance Standards.
  • Ongoing Regulatory Reform: One-Size-Fits-All Standards for the Board of-Directors
  • Ongoing Regulatory Reform: A Selective Approach
  • Ongoing Regulatory Reform: Cross-Border Legislative Convergence
  • Regulatory institutions and enforcement mechanisms
  • Module Conclusion


  • Introduction
  • Corporate Governance and Wider Socio-Economic Concerns
  • Different corporate governance systems and performance
  • Beyond Performance: Governance for Sustainability
  • Capital Formation and Efficiency: Banks and Governance
  • Promoting Good Governance
  • Module Conclusion
  Other Course-related Information
This course will be conducted over the internet using UNITAR's e-Learning infrastructure for a four week period. Participants will require a minimum of 60 minutes of study each day. The course pedagogy will allow for three levels of interaction. At the first level, the participants will interact with the training content and reading material provided. At the second level, the participants will interact with each other through the online discussion board facility, sharing experiences, opinions and views, thereby giving the learning a contextual framework. At the third level, the participants will interact with a seasoned expert on corporate governance who will act as the course mentor. The mentor will not only moderate the course for its entire duration, but also provide feedback and discussion wrap-ups as well as respond to participant queries.

UNITAR online courses create a progressive learning environment in which participants have the flexibility to structure their own learning process and interact with peers and experts through the discussion board facility. UNITAR encourages the participants to network with each other both professionally and amicably, to establish contacts which further promote the dynamic nature of the learning experience.

The online course will be conducted in the English language.


This course is designed as an online course in which participants will be primarily responsible for their own learning. Each lesson will consist of the following components:

1) Basic Reading Materials (Compulsory Reading Materials): these materials are intended to educate the participants about the basic concepts and principles applicable to the subject-matter of the lesson. It will include, where appropriate, sample materials. These materials will constitute the required reading materials for the lesson

2) Advanced Reading Materials (Optional Reading Materials): this will consist of optional reading materials for participants who wish to learn more about the topic than what is covered in the lesson.

3) External Links: This will refer the interested participants to additional books, articles, documents, and websites that deal with the issues raised in the lesson.

4) Glossary: A glossary of terms tailored to the online course will be provided to the participants and act as a learning support during the entire course.

5) Quizzes: At the end of each lesson there will be a set of quizzes for participants to answer. These quizzes are designed to test the participant's understanding of the lesson. Participants are required to pass each quiz and obtain at least 80% or more passing grade in order to be eligible for a certificate. All quizzes will need to be taken online.

6) Community Discussion Board: There will be a community discussion board available on which participants can post questions or comments that can be seen by the instructor and the other participants. This discussion board will be moderated by the course director and UNITAR. Structured discussion strings will be posted on a weekly basis.

All successful participants will be eligible to a certificate after completion of this online course.


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