Inherent criminogenesis in business organisations

AuthorAlexander Glebovskiy
Inherent criminogenesis in
business organisations
Alexander Glebovskiy
Department of Law and Science, Middlesex University, London, UK
Purpose This paper aims to discuss criminogenic elements and processes inherently presented in
businessorganisations that affect the emergence of crime committed in or by business organisations.
Design/methodology/approach This conceptual paper, based on relevant literature regarding a
range of crime-coercive and crime-facilitative elements and forces that promote corporate crime, considers
businessorganisations as a cogent unit of analysis to discuss the causation and origin of corporatecrime.
Findings Business organisationsare, per se, criminogenic, i.e. companies are latentlyprone to committing
crime, but are not necessarily criminal. By seeking to achieve commercial goals, companies can
unintentionallycreate an atmosphere that invites crimes and unethical conduct. Organisational criminalityis
not primarily inuenced by deviance in individual behaviour, but is a product of the organisations
criminogenic settingsand environment. Criminal activity arises from contact with criminogenicsystems and
employeesadaptionto organisational behavioursthat do not meet the highest ethical andmoral standards.
Research limitations/implications This is a theoreticalanalysis, lacking empirical research.
Practical implications This study can help anti-fraud and compliance practitioners to develop anti-
fraud strategies to prevent corporate crime at its source and further discussion on the causes of corporate
misconduct and progressesthe debate on the sources of illegal and unethical behaviour displayedin, and by,
Originality/value This paper highlights intrinsic features of business organisations that inuence
companies and employeesto engage in illegal activities, malpractice and unethical behaviourand provides a
conceptual framework and insightsinto the realm of inherent criminogenesis within business organisations
and how this is shaped by organisationsthemselves.
Keywords Corporate crime, Organizational criminogenesis, Criminogenic features,
Organizational crime
Paper type Literature review
1. Introduction
The pervasive phenomenon of corporate crime has interested scholars and compliance
practitioners for decades. The question of how organisations nd themselves engaging in
illegal and unethical practices is problematic: disasters and scandals in corporations do not
usually happen without warning, but develop over time. This is accounted for by the
complexity of inter-personal, structural, and departmental relationships within companies,
and the changing environment in which they evolve. Despite the dynamism and exibility
of individual and organisational variables, there are intrinsic forces driving the emergence
of corporate crime in all businessorganisations.
There are several reasons to study businesses in this context (Judge et al.,2008): they
signicantly inuence society and a countrys economicwealth; and employees spend most
of their day being part of organisation. Consequently, they inuence our behaviour, views,
and thinking, and act as social and culturalsystems (Coglianese, 2007).
Understanding why business organisations engage in criminal activities could provide
an important basis for tackling corporate crime (Clubb, 2014), a phenomenon with adverse
Journalof Financial Crime
Vol.26 No. 2, 2019
pp. 432-446
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/JFC-01-2018-0010
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