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Petter Gottschalk

The insurance company takes on business responsibility to society by controlling the ownership of a clubhouse where a number of organized criminals are living as members of the motorcycle gang. The insurance company applies a business perspective, where it keeps the pledge in the clubhouse as long as individuals have debts with the firm. However, the insurance company is not willing to involve itself in law enforcement.
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Petter Gottschalk

Fraud examiners work in law firms and auditing firms, investigating suspicions of financial crime. These fraud examiners deny being responsible to society. They claim attorney–client privilege and client property when denying access to reports of investigations of white-collar crime. Fraud examiners are reluctant to share information with law enforcement agencies in society even when they have clear evidence of penal law.
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Petter Gottschalk

The concept of discrete stages or levels can be applied to corporate social responsibility. In a four-stage model, organizations at the bottom level maximize profits for shareholders without any other obligations. The only responsibility corporations have is that of maximizing profits to shareholders while engaging in open and free competition, without deception or fraud. Organizations at the top level activate corporate actions to contribute as active citizens in society. Corporate executives look for opportunities in society where the company can make a difference.
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Organizational Opportunity and Deviant Behavior

Convenience in White-Collar Crime

Petter Gottschalk

Ever since Sutherland coined the term ‘white-collar crime’, researchers have struggled to understand and explain why some individuals abuse their privileged positions of trust and commit financial crime. This book makes a novel contribution to the development of convenience theory as a framework to understand and explain ‘white-collar crime’.
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Convenience in white-collar crime

Convenience in White-Collar Crime

Petter Gottschalk

Convenience is a concept that was theoretically mainly associated with efficiency in time savings. Today, convenience is associated with a number of other characteristics, such as reduced effort and reduced pain. Convenience is associated with terms such as fast, easy, and safe. Convenience says something about attractiveness and accessibility. A convenient individual is not necessarily bad or lazy. On the contrary, the person can be seen as smart and rational. Convenience orientation is conceptualized as the value that individuals and organizations place on actions with inherent characteristics of saving time and effort. Convenience orientation can be considered a value-like construct that influences behavior and decision-making.

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Economical dimension of convenience theory

Convenience in White-Collar Crime

Petter Gottschalk

The motive for white-collar crime is simply financial gain. The motive for financial gain, however, can vary. Crime might be a response to both possibilities and threats, and it might be a response to both strengths and weaknesses. An offense can enable exploration and exploitation of a business or a personal possibility that may otherwise seem unobtainable. An offense can enable avoidance of business threats or personal threats. An offense can make the business or the personal situation even stronger, and it can reduce and compensate for business or personal weaknesses. Financial gain as motive for white-collar crime can either benefit the individual or the organization. If illegal financial gain benefits the individual, it is labeled occupational crime. The individual benefits personally from illegal economical gain in a setting where his or her occupation enables white-collar crime. The motive for personal financial gain can vary in terms of possibilities and threats, and strengths and weaknesses.

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Organizational dimension of convenience theory

Convenience in White-Collar Crime

Petter Gottschalk

The organizational dimension sets white-collar criminals apart from other financial criminals. Abusing social security benefits, committing tax evasion, or committing Internet fraud on a personal level is not considered white-collar crime. White-collar crime is defined as financial crime committed in a professional capability in an organizational context. While possibilities in the economical dimension are concerned with convenient abilities for the achievement of goals (avoid threats and gain benefits such as real estate and foreign establishment), opportunities in the organizational dimension revolve around how crime can be committed conveniently. The economical dimension answers the why, while the organizational dimension answers the how of white-collar crime. We distinguish between the economic ability to realize wishes, meet needs, and fulfill desires, and professional opportunity to implement white-collar crime in connection with regular business activities.

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Behavioral dimension of convenience theory

Convenience in White-Collar Crime

Petter Gottschalk

Most theories of white-collar crime can be found along the behavioral dimension. Numerous suggestions have been presented by researchers to explain why famous people have committed financial crime. In this chapter, some of the most prominent theories are presented: differential association theory, theory of self-control and desire-for-control, slippery slope theory, and neutralization theory. Crime is not committed by systems, routines, or organizations. Crime is committed by individuals. White-collar criminals practice a deviant behavior to carry out their offenses. White-collar crime is committed by members of the privileged socioeconomic class who are using their power and influence. Offenders are typically charismatic, have a need for control, have a tendency to bully subordinates, fear losing their status and position, exhibit narcissistic tendencies, lack integrity and social conscience, have no feelings of guilt, and do not perceive themselves as criminals.

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Empirical study of white-collar criminals

Convenience in White-Collar Crime

Petter Gottschalk

As evidenced in this chapter, convenience orientation can be identified among convicted white-collar criminals. Their convenience orientation was frequently present in all three dimensions of convenience theory. We suggest that executives with a greater degree of convenience orientation will be more inclined to implement convenient strategies to achieve personal and business goals. If crime is a more convenient option to reach a goal, then executives with a greater degree of convenience orientation will have a stronger tendency to break the law. In this line of reasoning, the extent of white-collar crime can be reduced if executives with strong convenience orientation are identified. Executives and others in the elite who strongly dislike spending time and effort on time-consuming and complicated procedures, might be identified by implementing review procedures and surveillance mechanisms to prevent them from committing crime. Individual convenience orientation can be reduced by an increased subjective likelihood of detection. Simply stated, if you think you will get caught, you do not commit crime.

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Student survey on convenience theory

Convenience in White-Collar Crime

Petter Gottschalk

To study convenience theory empirically, this chapter presents a student elicitation on white-collar crime. Student elicitation is derived from expert elicitation, where experts are asked to say something about the unknown. Expert elicitation seeks to make explicit and utilizable knowledge and attitudes in the heads of experts. Expert elicitation seeks to make explicit and utilizable the unpublished knowledge and wisdom in the heads of experts, based on their accumulated experience as well as their interpretation and reflection in a given context. Elicitation is defined as collecting information from people as part of human intelligence. An elicitation technique or elicitation procedure is applied to collect and gather information from people. Expert elicitation is defined as the synthesis of opinions of experts on a subject where there is uncertainty due to insufficient data.