Friday, September 27, 2019

The study of corporate crimesprecepts and significance Essay

The study of corporate crimesprecepts and significance - Essay Example While many factors including lack of public awareness and concern, the myth that corporate crimes are not serious and/or victimless, absence of broad-based social movement against corporate crime, and the corporate domination of society and academics may have hindered the development of corporate criminology as an academic speciality in the past, the need to address corporate crime as an area of behaviour demanding deep and urgent study by criminologists has been suggested by many researchers.1 The report examines the subject matter of corporate criminology, and attempts to understand the criminological precepts and legal concepts associated with corporate crime. In doing so it shall examine the definitions, classifications and theorisations of corporate criminal behaviour and wrongdoings as well as the implications of corporate criminalisation. The report shall analyse the nature and extent of corporate crimes in the U.K., in understanding the significance of the study of corporate crimes. Edwin Sutherland's 1940 study, "White Collar Criminality" is understood to be the first attempt to study corporate wrongdoings from a criminological perspective.2 Despite his frequent reference to 'white-collar crimes', Sutherland's main concern, as Kramer observes, was "with the crime of corporations".3 Although Sutherland's work was recognized as an important contribution, his efforts, 'a legacy scorned by its putative beneficiaries,'4 did not leave much interest among criminologists, as corporate crime remained largely outside the purview of criminology until 1970s. Doherty comments that the failure of criminologists to address corporate crimes was not entirely wilful, stating that many obstacles including apparent public ambivalence, lack of assessment and awareness of the seriousness of corporate crime and the absence of a valid and meaningful definition has limited the development of corporate criminology as a concerted study.5 From an academic/theoretical perspective, the issues related to defining corporate crime is of particular significance, as a valid and meaningful definition that demarcates the boundaries of the study needs to be established. Defining Corporate Crime Geis and Meier have observed that defining the concept of corporate crime has been traditionally considered as the 'toughest intellectual nightmare,' facing a corporate criminologist.6 Many researchers studying corporate crime often inconsistently use the term 'white-collar crime' to refer to corporate crime. It may be worthwhile to examine the way white-collar crime and corporate crimes are defined and understood. Sutherland defines white-collar crime 'as a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation.'7 Apparently, his definition focuses on the individual offender; however, Gobert and Punch suggests that his later observation, "the criminality of the corporations, like that of professional thieves, is persistent: a large number of the offenders are recidivists" suggests the inclusion of corporations within the category of these offenders.8 Gobert and Punch suggest that corporate crime, in essence refers to the individual, collective and organisational wrongdoing in a business setting.9 These definitions blur the distinction between

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