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date: 16 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter is predicated on the view that white-collar crime emanates from a decision making process and reviews research on how contextual factors in organizations may influence these decisions. It examines three prominent features of an organization’s context (the reward system, organizational culture, and organizational structure) and explains how these factors are expected to relate to the perceived benefits (i.e., lure) and perceived costs (i.e., credibility of oversight and likelihood of detection) of white-collar crime. Our analysis suggests that reward systems should be tied to legitimate goals that are challenging but attainable. We also recommend that organizations develop formal, comprehensive ethics programs. Finally, we discuss the implications of structural choices organizations make regarding centralization, departmentalization, and formalization as they likely pertain to white-collar crime.

Keywords: decision making, organizational culture, organizational structure, organizations, reward systems, white-collar crime

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