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NCJ Number: 136133 Find in a Library
Title: On the Plausibility of Corporate Crime Theory (From Advances in Criminological Theory, Volume 2, P 15-38, 1990, William S Laufer and Freda Adler, eds. -- See NCJ-136131)
Author(s): J Braithwaite; B Fisse
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 24
Sponsoring Agency: Transaction Publishers
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Sale Source: Transaction Publishers
Rutgers-the State University
140 West Ethel Road
Units L-M
Piscataway, NJ 08854
United States of America
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Cressey's study of corporate crime developed a criminological theory to explain why some individuals engage in crime and why some structural contexts show higher crime rates and different crime patterns than others.
Abstract: Cressey's work calls into question certain common assumptions in corporate crime research: that corporations are like real persons and that they act and have intentions. Cressey contends that anyone who tries to understand white collar crime is severely handicapped by the fiction that corporations are disembodied political, social, and economic persons who behave like ordinary men and women. He points out that corporations do many things individuals cannot. Therefore, the important question for criminological theory is not whether corporations are moral persons, but rather whether they are capable of criminal action and being held responsible. In adopting the view that corporations do not act, that only individuals act, Cressey not only questions the idea of corporate crime, but also casts doubt on organizational sociology. He underpins his questioning of the concept of corporate criminal liability by suggesting that organizations do not think, decide, or act; these are all done by individuals. Further, he contends that corporations cannot have intentions because they are not real persons. Nonetheless, corporations cannot have intentions because they are not real persons. Nonetheless, corporations have legal and ethical responsibilities, they can commit crime, and they can suffer from punishment. Cressey's ultimate concern is that the theoretical distinction be clear between corporate crimes committed by persons and corporate crimes committed by organizations. 48 references
Main Term(s): Corporate crimes
Index Term(s): Crime causes theory; Criminal responsibility; Criminology theory evaluation
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