Influencing Factors of Workplace Relationships on Neutralisation Techniques applied by White-Collar Criminals

SELLMANN, Mark (2022). Influencing Factors of Workplace Relationships on Neutralisation Techniques applied by White-Collar Criminals. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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This thesis examines the phenomenon of white-collar crime, meaning illegal acts as defined by German law, committed by a person or group of persons in the course of a legitimate occupation for the benefit of the individual criminal(s) without organisational support. As not only big fraud scandals that gain media attention cause tremendous losses, this qualitative research investigates into those supposedly petty white-collar crimes (e.g., working time fraud, skiving, thefts, etc.) to generate a wider and deeper understanding of these often considered trivial offences which, nonetheless, are responsible for almost half of the financial losses caused by all white-collar crimes globally. A stream of previous research has demonstrated that workplace relationships, good or bad, with peers or across organisational hierarchies, have the power to influence the behaviour of individual employees. Another stream of prior studies discovered that neutralisation, as a before the act justification of a deed, and the concrete application of neutralisation techniques are a necessary means for employees to reduce their cognitive dissonance which allows them to perpetrate white-collar crimes. By conducting 20 interviews with white-collar criminals, this thesis has successfully closed the research gap by linking up these existing research streams. The empirical findings show how workplace relationships, when manifested in social situations and interpersonal events, affect the decision making process and the application of neutralisation techniques by white-collar criminals. This contribution to knowledge is used to develop propositions for future research. This study has identified certain trigger events, such as specific situations and conducts by workplace actors (e.g., superiors, colleagues and even subordinates) that evoke distinct emotions and cause corresponding feelings among perpetrators and thereby serve as a breeding ground for the formation, development, and application of neutralisation techniques. If aware of these connections and patterns, companies and advisors will be able to improve compliance management systems and anti-fraud measures by applying more targeted interventions and approaches.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Issa, Samah (Affiliation: Sheffield Hallam University)
Garrow, Nigel (Affiliation: Sheffield Hallam Universiy)
Weghmann, Katharina
Chan, Dora (Affiliation: Sheffield Hallam Universiy)
Additional Information: Director of studies: Dr. Samah Issa / Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Nigel Garrow, Dr. Katharina Weghmann and Dr. Dora Chan
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2024 14:38
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2024 10:45

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