David Hess

Professor of Business Law & Business Ethics

PhD The Wharton School, University Of Pennsylvania
MA  The Wharton School, University Of Pennsylvania
JD   University Of Iowa College of Law
BA   Grinnell College


          Curriculum Vita


          Contact Information

          Links to News Sites & Blogs on Law & Ethics


David Hess a Professor of Business Law and Business Ethics at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He has a PhD in Management (corporate strategy field) from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a JD from the University of Iowa College of Law. He has taught a variety of courses on business law, business ethics, business and human rights, corporate social responsibility, and negotiations. He has previously served as the Faculty Director of the Nonprofit and Public Management Center at the University of Michigan, and was the founding Faculty Director of the Center for Social Impact at the Ross School of Business. Professor Hess served as the Reporter for the American Bar Association's Criminal Justice Standards on corporate monitors. He currently serves on governing board of the Global Business and Human Rights Scholars Association. Professor Hess was previously the Business Law Section Editor for the Journal of Business Ethics, and currently serves on the editorial boards of Business Ethics Quarterly, Business and Human Rights Journal, and the American Business Law Journal.


Professor Hess's research focuses primarily on the role of the law in ensuring corporate accountability. His publications in this area have analyzed the use of non-financial reporting by corporations; efforts to combat corruption in international business; the link between corruption and business and human rights; and the role of compliance and ethics programs in creating more ethical corporate cultures. This research has been published in leading law, ethics, and management journals, and has been recognized with national awards, such as the Faculty Pioneer Award from The Aspen Institute.


Corruption, Bribery & Human Rights

Hess, D. & Bishara N. 2019. "Beyond Peace Doves: Respecting Human Rights and Combating Corruption in Mega-Sporting Events." Boston University International Law Journal, 37(2): 245-79.

Hess, D. 2019. "The Transparency Trap: Non-Financial Disclosure and the Responsibility of Business to Respect Human Rights." American Business Law Journal, vol. 56(1): 5-53.

Hess, D. 2017. "Business, Corruption, and Human Rights: Towards a New Responsibility for Corporations to Combat Corruption." 2017 Wisconsin Law Review 641-693.

Hess, D. (forthcoming). "Corruption and the Multinational Corporation." Forthcoming in: Denis G. Arnold, Tom L. Beauchamp and Norman E. Bowie, Ethical Theory and Business, 10th ed. Cambridge University Press, 2018. 

Hess, D. 2015. "Combating Corruption in International Business: The Big Questions." Ohio Northern Law Review, 41(3): 676-696.

Hess, D. 2012. "Enhancing the Effectiveness of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Through Corporate Social Responsibility." Ohio State Law Journal, 73(5): 1121-1144.

Hess, D. 2012. "Combating Corruption through Corporate Transparency: Using Enforcement Discretion to Improve Disclosure." Minnesota Journal of International Law, vol. 21(1): 42-74.

Hess, D. 2011. "Combating Corruption in International Business through Voluntary Governance Initiatives," in Hale, T. and Held, D. (eds), Transnational Governance Innovation, pp. 322-327. Polity Press: Cambridge, UK.

Hess, D. 2009. "Catalyzing Corporate Commitment to Combating Corruption." Journal of Business Ethics, 88: 781-790.

Hess, D. & Dunfee, T.W. 2003. "Taking Responsibility for Bribery: The Multinational Corporation's Role in Combating Corruption," in Sullivan, R. (ed.) Business and Human Rights: Dilemmas and Solutions, pp. 260-271. Sheffield, UK:  Greanleaf Publishing.

Dunfee, T.W. & Hess, D. 2001. "Getting From Salbu to the 'Tipping Point':  The Role of Corporate Action Within a Portfolio of Anti-Corruption Strategies."  Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business, vol. 21 (2): 471-490.

Hess, D. & Dunfee, T.W. 2000. "Fighting Corruption:  A Principled Approach." Cornell International Law Journal, vol. 33 (3): 593-626.


Corporate Culture, Compliance and Ethics  

Hess, D. 2019. "Chipping Away at Compliance: How Compliance Programs Lose Legitimacy and its Impact on Unethical Behavior," Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial and Commercial Law, 14(1): 5-21.

Hess, D. 2016. "Ethical Infrastructures and Evidence-Based Corporate Compliance and Ethics Programs: Policy Implications from the Empirical Evidence." New York University Journal of Law and Business, 12(2): 317-68.

Ford, C. & Hess, D. 2011. "Corporate Monitorships and New Governance Regulation: In Theory, In Practice, and In Its Regulatory Context," Law & Policy, vol. 33(4): 509-541.

Ford, C. & Hess, D. 2009. "Can Corporate Monitorships Improve Corporate Compliance?" Journal of Corporation Law, vol. 34 (3): 679-737.

Hess, D. & Ford, C. 2008. "Corporate Corruption and Reform Undertakings: A New Approach to an Old Problem." Cornell International Law Journal, vol. 41 (2): 307-346.

Hess, D. 2007. "A Business Ethics Perspective on Sarbanes-Oxley and the Organizational Sentencing Guidelines." Michigan Law Review, vol. 105 (8): 1781-1816.

Hess, D., McWhorter, R. & Fort, T. 2006. "The 2004 Amendments to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and Their Implicit Call for a Symbiotic Integration of Business Ethics." Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law, vol. 11 (4): 725-764.

         Fostering a Culture of Trust (Edited version with commentary published as a Bridge Paper by the Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics).


Sustainability Reporting & Corporate Social Responsibility:

Hess, D. 2019. "The Transparency Trap: Non-Financial Disclosure and the Responsibility of Business to Respect Human Rights." American Business Law Journal, vol. 56(1): 5-53.

Hess, D. 2014. "The Future of Sustainability Reporting as a Regulatory Requirement." In D. Cahoy & J. Colburn(eds), Law and the Transition to Business Sustainability. Springer Publishing

Hess, D. 2008. "The Three Pillars of Corporate Social Reporting as New Governance Regulation: Disclosure, Dialogue, and Development." Business Ethics Quarterly, vol. 18(4): 447-482.

Hess, D. 2007. "Social Reporting and New Governance Regulation: The Prospects of Achieving Corporate Accountability through Transparency." Business Ethics Quarterly, 17 (3): 453-476.

Hess, D. & Dunfee, T.W. 2007. "The Kasky-Nike Threat to Corporate Social Reporting: Implementing a Standard of Optimal Truthful Disclosure as a Solution." Business Ethics Quarterly, vol. 17(1): 5-32

Hess, D. 2006. "Corporate Social Responsibility and the Law," in José  Allouche (ed.), Corporate Social Responsibility, 154-180. Hampshire, UK:  Palgrave Macmillan.

Hess, D. 2001. "Regulating Corporate Social Performance:  A New Look at Corporate Social Accounting, Auditing, and Reporting." Business Ethics Quarterly, vol. 11 (2): 307-330.

Hess, D. 1999. "Social Reporting:  A Reflexive Law Approach to Corporate Social Responsiveness." Journal of Corporation Law, vol. 25 (1): 41-84. (PDF version in original journal format)


Corporate Social Initiatives:

Hess, D. & Warren, D. E. 2008. "The Meaning and Meaningfulness of Corporate Social Initiatives." Business & Society Review, vol. 113 (2): 163-197.

Hess, D., Rogovsky, N., & Dunfee, T.W. 2002. "The Next Wave of Corporate Community Involvement: Corporate Social Initiatives." California Management Review, vol. 44 (2): 110-125.

Dunfee, T. W. & Hess, D. 2000. "The Legitimacy of Direct Corporate Humanitarian Investment." Business Ethics Quarterly, vol. 10 (1): 95-109.


Public Pension Funds:

Hess, D. 2010. "Ethics in Finance: Pension Funds," in John Boatright (ed.), Finance Ethics: Critical Issues in Financial Theory and Practice, pp. 359-372. Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons.

Hess, D. 2007. "Public Pensions and the Promise of Shareholder Activism for the Next Frontier of Corporate Governance: Sustainable Economic Development." Virginia Law & Business Review, 2(2): 221-63.

Hess, D. 2005. "Protecting and Politicizing Public Pension Fund Assets:  Empirical Evidence on the Effects of Governance Structures and Practices." University of California-Davis Law Review, vol. 39 (1): 187-224.

Hess, D. & Impavido, G. 2004. "Governance of Public Pension Funds: Lessons from Corporate Governance and International Evidence," in Musalem, A. R. & Palacios, R. (eds.) Public Pension Fund Management, pp. 49-89. Washington D.C.: The World Bank.

Useem, M. & Hess, D. 2001. "Governance and Investments of Public Pensions," in Olivia S. Mitchell & Edwin C. Hustead (eds.), Pensions in the Public Sector: pp. 132-152. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.



Hess, D. 2010. "Attorney Liability for Client Fraud: Lessons From the Conviction of Outside Counsel in the Refco Fraud," in Corporate Governance 2010, pp. 741-752. Practising Law Institute: New York, NY.

Hess, D. 2010. "Client Confusion on Corporate Counsel's Role: New Developments in the Ethical and Legal Minefield of Conducting Internal Investigations," in Corporate Governance 2010, pp. 753-774. Practising Law Institute: New York, NY.

Hess, D. 2008. "If Kilpatrick were a CEO, he'd be fired: Ethical errors end corporate careers quicker than any other mistake." Detroit News, February 5, 2008, at 7A.

Hess, D. 2008. "Responsible Investing Requires Full Disclosure." Pensions & Investments, June 9, 2008, at 12.