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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 91892 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Corporate Ethics and Crime - The Role of Middle Management
Author(s): M B Clinard
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 179
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 81-IJ-CX-0035
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Interviews with 64 retired middle management executives employed by 51 Fortune 500 corporations provide data for an analysis of factors producing unethical behavior within a corporation, such as top management's role, employee cooperation with government in dealing with violations, and the role of competitive practices.
Abstract: Generally, respondents had been with their companies for an extremely long period of time and were located in the home office during their last positions. Median age was 67.4 and median length of time retired 6.5 years. The sample was so varied by type of industry, size of corporation, type of position, age, and education that it resulted in a somewhat stratified sample. These executives emphasized internal factors as the chief causes of unethical and illegal behavior, the most important being the decisive role of top management in setting ethical standards and pressures placed on middle management. Top executives' character and personality influenced the company's internal structure, and these mobile, aggressive individuals often had little concern for the company's long-term reputation. While lines of communication were quite open within the corporations, there may be tacit agreements between middle and top management to perpetuate the lack of exchange of full information. Middle managers felt that corporate pressures to show profits and keep costs in line at their level were extensive and serious and resulted in the compromise of personal standards. They did not feel that external factors, such as a poor financial situation and unfair competitive practices, were important contributors to illegal behavior. Approximately 57 percent believed that government regulation is needed and that industry is not able to police itself adequately. Very few thought that government regulation contributed to an atmosphere conducive to violation, but nearly all believed that reductions in government rules and regulations were needed. The book also discusses unethical behavior by type of industry and the study's implications for social control. Tables, additional information on the survey methodology, an index, and approximately 120 references are included.
Index Term(s): Corporate self-regulation; Professional misconduct; White collar crime
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