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NCJ Number: 77825 Find in a Library
Title: Multidisciplinary Approaches to White-Collar Crime (From White-Collar Crime - An Agenda for Research, P 129-152, 1982, Herbert Edelhertz and Thomas D. Overcast, ed. - See NCJ-77820)
Author(s): S Dinitz
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 24
Sponsoring Agency: Lexington Books
New York, NY 10022
Sale Source: Lexington Books
866 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper discusses broad issues in white-collar crime from the perspectives of business leaders, lawyers, and criminologists and proposes a multidisciplinary approach to research in this field.
Abstract: Business and professional attitudes toward white-collar crime are described, based on analysis of articles and editorials which appeared in various business publications between 1976 and 1979 and major speeches given by businessmen. Interviews were also conducted with selected persons from the fields of administration, accounting, management, law, marketing, engineering, and nuclear physics. This information revealed three major ideological viewpoints: (1) the fundamentalist belief that executives have a moral obligation to make as much money as possible for their stockholders and should be free from Government regulation; (2) the contention that economic crime should be punished, but not by criminal sanctions; and (3) the theme expressed in most articles that corporate responsibility is needed to ward off further Government intrusion and recover lost public support. However, these individuals were sharply divided over the creation of a set of ethical standards to govern business conduct. Criminologists' theories regarding economic crimes are traced, beginning with a benchmark paper presented to the American Sociological Association in 1940 which coined the phrase white-collar crime. Problems involving the definition of white-collar crime are examined from legal, sociological, and statistical perspectives. Research studies which have tried to identify categories of white-collar crimes are reviewed. The paper argues that white-collar crime must be studied from an interdisciplinary perspective. Special difficulties which preclude significant research are outlined, such as the erroneous concept that a free enterprise system with unfettered competition is a positive good, the complexity of white-collar crimes, and the lack of data. Finally, 2 important studies are described to illustrate valuable research approaches: a review of all legal actions initiated against the 582 largest publicly owned corporations by 24 Federal agencies and an investigation of a computer fraud involving the double billing of the Ohio Department of Public Welfare. Specific recommendations for multidisciplinary research projects are provided. Approximately 60 footnotes are included.
Index Term(s): Research; Trade practices; White collar crime
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