Sociology Index


Corporate crime is crime committed by corporate employees or owners to seek profits for a corporation. Corporate crime refers to crimes committed by a corporation or by individuals who may be identified with a corporation. Individuals who represent the interests of the corporation are employees or professionals of a higher social class and hence such corporate crimes may be referred to as Occupational Crime or White-Collar Crime. Corporate crime may involve acts like fraud (Madoff, Enron), environmental pollution (corporate crime, such as the 1985 Union Carbide accident in Bhopal, India), making of unsafe products and dangerous work environments. Corporate criminal liability has become an important and much-talked about topic. Corporate crime poses a threat to the welfare of the community and because of the impact of their actions on a much wider group of people the potential for both economic and physical harm caused by a corporation is great. Increasing interest in Organizational Crime and corporate crime has been matched by increasing interest in organizational culture and corporate culture.

Types of Corporate Crime or Organizational Crime

Corporate Crime occur at various levels and due to various reasons.

Corporate crime comitted by an employee also called white collar crime affects the organization and other employees.

Crimes comitted by firms against firms: Crimes between firms are generally a result of competition between the firms.

Corporate Crimes comitted against societies: These types of crime affects society in general. Unsafe products injure consumers. False advertisements to lure shoppers to products and services without published advantages. Price fixing involves corporate nexus between competitors within industries affecting people.

Corporate Crimes comitted against employees: Injuries suffered from occupational hazards and safety standards.

Corporate Crimes of Pollution: Greenhouse Effect is a term referring to an increase in the average temperature of the earth brought about by the effects of atmospheric pollution.

Re-Imagining Crime Prevention: Controlling Corporate Crime?
Anne Alvesalo ; Steve Tombs ; Erja Virta ; Dave Whyte
Journal: Crime, Law and Social Change Volume:45 Issue:1 Dated:2006
Noting that "situational crime prevention" has dominated the theory and practice of crime prevention, the authors discuss the application of routine activities theory, to corporate crime.

Disappearing act: The representation of corporate crime research in criminological literature
Michael J. Lynch, Danielle McGurrinb and Melissa Fenwicka. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Abstract: Following the labeling theory, conflict perspective, and radical movements and the attention these perspectives directed toward crimes committed by the powerful, most criminologists assumed that corporate and white-collar crime received attention in criminal justice literature.

Corporate Crime Litigation: Defense Attorneys Perspective - Schnopp, Stefan. and Russo, Brian. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology.
Abstract: The devastating effects of Global Crossing, Enron, WorldCom, and other financial debacles have created a legislative climate for dealing seriously with corporate crime. This presentation addresses the defense bar's perspective on conducting corporate crime litigation.

Vikramaditya S. Khanna
Boston University School of Law Working Paper 03-04
Abstract: Corporate crime become an important issue on the U.S. legislative agenda. The growth of corporate crime legislation makes one wonder how can such a state of the world arise?

Factors Stimulating Corporate Crime
Voon, Sze-Ling, Puah, Chin-Hong, Entebang, Harry, Chin-Hong Puah
Abstract: Aims to identify the factors that appear to stimulate corporate crime activity in organizations. A to consider the extent to which organizational crime can affect the shareholder value creation of organizations.

Targeting Employees for Corporate Crime and Forbidding Their Indemnification
Wallace P. Mullin, George Washington University - Department of Economics
Christopher M. Snyder, Dartmouth College
Abstract: It is clear employees should be sanctioned for corporate crime, but the question is whether the firm should be as well.

Police Departments as Victims of State-Corporate Crime - Reifert, Steve. and Carlson, Susan. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CRIMINOLOGY, Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Atlanta, Georgia
Abstract: Focuses on citizens, workers, and other private individuals or groups of individuals who experience harm as a result of state corporate crime.

Corporate crime in Australia
Peter Grabosky and John Braithwaite
ISBN 0 642 11867 1 ; ISSN 0817-8542
Abstract: Ten major areas of corporate conduct which may breach the law.

New Evidence on the Origins of Corporate Crime
Alexander, C.R., Cohen, M.A., Mark A. Cohen
Abstract: The intuition that poorly performing corporations are more likely to engage in crime. New evidence on the relationship between prior performance and corporate crime using panel data on public corporations, 1975-92.

Corporate Crime and Restitution.
Abel, Charles F. Journal of Offender Counseling, Services, & Rehabilitation, v9 n3 p71-94 Spr 1985.
Abstract: Articulates need, nature, and form of a restitutionary approach to corporate crime.

The Changing Atmospherics of Corporate Crime Sentencing in the Post Sarbanes-Oxley Act Era
Peter J. Henning - Wayne State University Law School; Wayne State University Law School. Journal of Business and Technology Law, Vol. 3, No. 2, March 18, 2008
Abstract: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was a watershed event in dealing with corporate fraud. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act marked a change in the sentencing atmospherics for corporate crime. How the Sarbanes-Oxley Act changed the approach to sentencing of white collar defendants involved in corporate crimes?

The price of corporate crime: the risks to business
John Sliter - Journal: Journal of Financial Crime
Shareholders have started choosing their investments based on social responsibility and ethical leadership. This will not include those companies involved in corporate crime!

Retribution and Corporate Crime - Kam C. Wong, Xavier University
Abstract: Whether the retribution theory can be applied as a justification for corporate criminal punishment. The fact is that the white-collar criminals are being treated more leniently. The question is whether the disparity in treatment is justified or more to the point whether it is fair?

Does the Difference Between "Corporate interest" and "Personal interest" in Corporate Crime Influence Sentencing? - Econometric Analysis of Sentencing Factors in the Corporate Tax Evasion
Ken Shiraishi, Atsushi Yamashita, Takaaki Murakami - Sayuri Shiraishi (Yokohama City University). Abstract: Two types of motives are "corporate interest" and "personal interest." Court decisions often suggest that the type of motive a defendant had may affect sentencing. We should rethink criminal liability and crime deterrents in cases of corporate crime.

Public Support for Getting Tough on Corporate Crime
Racial and Political Divides
James D. Unnever, Michael L. Benson, Francis T. Cullen
Using a national probability sample, we explore whether Americans want to enact stricter regulations of the stock market. The findings reveal that Americans generally favor getting tough on corporate illegality.


Braithwaite, John. (1984). Corporate Crime in the Pharmaceutical Industry. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Books. ISBN 0-7102-0049-8

Gobert, J & Punch, M. (2003). Rethinking Corporate Crime, London: Butterworths. ISBN 0-406-95006-7

Clinard, Marshall B. & Yeager, Peter Cleary. (2005). Corporate Crime. Somerset, NJ: Transaction Publishers. ISBN 1-4128-0493-0 

Pearce, Frank & Tombs, Steven. (1992). "Realism and Corporate Crime", in Issues in Realist Criminology. (R. Matthews & J. Young eds.). London: Sage.

Snider, Laureen. (1993). Bad Business: Corporate Crime in Canada, Toronto: Nelson.

Snider, Laureen & Pearce, Frank (eds.). (1995). Corporate Crime: Contemporary Debates, Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Simpson, Sally S. (2002). Corporate Crime, Law, and Social Control. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.