White-Collar Criminals

  • Petter GottschalkEmail author


There is probably no single occupation in the world that has been met with a more systematic degree of naivety from its employers than the chief executive. It has been argued that goal-oriented management is a management approach that can inherently bring about more white-collar crime. Especially when goals are ambitious and the CEO is personally responsible for goal achievement and faces negative personal consequences of non-achievement, the CEO might tend to use both legal and illegal means in the struggle to achieve goals.


White-collar crime Criminal behavior Criminal sample Deviant behavior 


  1. Agnew, R. (2014). Social concern and crime: Moving beyond the assumption of simple self-interest. Criminology, 52(1), 1–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bendahan, S., Zehnder, C., Pralong, F. P., & Antonakis, J. (2015). Leader corruption depends on power and testosterone. The Leadership Quarterly, 26, 101–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Benson, M. L., & Simpson, S. S. (2015). Understanding white-collar crime: An opportunity perspective. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Brodi, R. G., & Perri, F. S. (2016). Fraud detection suicide: The dark side of white-collar crime. Journal of Financial Crime, 23(4), 786–797.Google Scholar
  5. Campana, P. (2016). When rationality fails: Making sense of the ‘slippery slope’ to corporate fraud. Theoretical Criminology, 20(3), 322–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ceccato, V., & Benson, M. L. (2016). Tax evasion in Sweden 2002–2013: Interpreting changes in the rot/rut deduction system and predicting future trends. Crime, Law and Social Change, 66, 217–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. CFCS. (2014). CFCS certification examination study manual (4th ed.). Certified Financial Crime Specialist, Association of Certified Financial Crime Specialists, Rivergate Plaza, Miami, FL 33131.Google Scholar
  8. Cowen, A. P., King, A. W., & Marcel, J. J. (2016). CEO severance agreements: A theoretical examination and research agenda. Academy of Management Review, 41(1), 151–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dobovsek, B., & Slak, B. (2015). Old horizons of organized-white collar crime. Journal of Financial Crime, 22(3), 305–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Edelhertz, H. (1970). The nature, impact and prosecution of white-collar crime. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice.Google Scholar
  11. Eisenhardt, K.M. (1985). Control: organizational and economic approaches. Management Science, 31(2), 134–149.Google Scholar
  12. Fanelli, A., & Misangyi, V. F. (2006). Bringing out charisma: CEO charisma and external stakeholders. Academy of Management Review, 31(4), 1049–1061.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. FBI. (2014). Five former employees of Bernard L. Madoff investment securities found guilty in Manhattan Federal Court on all counts. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  14. Galvin, B. M., Lange, D., & Ashforth, B. E. (2015). Narcissistic organizational identification: Seeing oneself as central to the organization’s identity. Academy of Management Review, 40(2), 163–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gottschalk, P. (2016). Explaining white-collar crime: The concept of convenience in financial crime investigations. London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hambrick, D. C., Misangyi, V. F., & Park, C. A. (2015). The quad model for identifying a corporate director’s potential for effective monitoring: Toward a new theory of board sufficiency. Academy of Management Review, 40(3), 323–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hirschi, T., & Gottfredson, M. (1987). Causes of white-collar crime. Criminology, 25(4), 949–974.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ionescu, L. (2010a). Madoff’s fraudulent financial scheme, his decades-long swindle, and the failure of operational risk management. Economics, Management, and Financial Markets, 5(3), 239–244.Google Scholar
  19. Ionescu, L. (2010b). The mechanism of the largest Ponzi scheme in history and its wide-felt impact on the global financial architecture. Economics, Management, and Financial Markets, 5(3), 245–250.Google Scholar
  20. Jonnergård, K., Stafsudd, A., & Elg, U. (2010). Performance evaluations as gender barriers in professional organizations: A study of auditing firms. Gender, Work and Organization, 17(6), 721–747.Google Scholar
  21. Kerik, B. B. (2015). From jailer to jailed—My journey from correction and police commissioner to inmate #84888-054. New York: Threshold Editions.Google Scholar
  22. Khanna, V., Kim, E. H., & Lu, Y. (2015). CEO connectedness and corporate fraud. The Journal of Finance, 70(3), 1203–1252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kjeldsen, A. M., & Jacobsen, C. B. (2013). Public service motivation and employment sector: Attraction or socialization? Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 23(4), 899–926.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kostelnik, J. (2012). Sentencing white-collar criminals: When is shaming viable? Global Crime, 13(3), 141–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lord, N. (2016). Establishing enforcement legitimacy in the pursuit of rule-breaking ‘global elites’: The case of transnational corporate bribery. Theoretical Criminology, 20(3), 376–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lopez-Rodriguez, S. (2009). Environmental engagement, organizational capability and firm performance. Corporate Governance, 9(4), 400–408.Google Scholar
  27. Marshall, C. K. (2009, March). Why can’t Martha Stewart have a gun? Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, 32‚ 695–735.Google Scholar
  28. McGurrin, D., Jarrell, M., Jahn, A., & Cochrane, B. (2013). White collar crime representation in the criminological literature revisited, 2001–2010. Western Criminology Review, 14(2), 3–19.Google Scholar
  29. Michel, P. (2008). Financial crimes: The constant challenge of seeking effective prevention solutions. Journal of Financial Crime, 15(4), 383–397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Murphy, P. (2010). The intractability of reputation: Media coverage as a complex system in the case of Martha Stewart. Journal of Public Relations Research, 22(2), 208–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Nalbandian, J., & Edwards, J. T. (1983). The professional values of public administrators: A comparison with lawyers, social workers, and business administrators. Review of Public Personnel Administration, 4, 114–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Naylor, R. T. (2003). Towards a general theory of profit-driven crimes. British Journal of Criminology, 43, 81–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Nichols, C. (2011). Addressing inept SEC enforcement efforts: Lessons from Madoff, the hedge fund industry, and title IV of the Dodd-Frank Act for U.S. and global financial systems. Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business, 31, 637–698.Google Scholar
  34. Nolasco, C. A. R. I., Vaughn, M. S., & Carmen, R. V. (2013). Revisiting the choice model of Ponzi and Pyramid schemes: Analysis of case law. Crime, Law and Social Change, 60, 375–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Onna, J. H. R., Geest, V. R., Huisman, W., & Denkers, J. M. (2014). Criminal trajectories of white-collar offenders. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 51, 759–784.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Perry, J., Hondeghem, A., & Wise, L. (2010). Revisiting the Motivational Bases of Public Service. Public Administration Review, 70(5), 681–690.Google Scholar
  37. Perry, J. L., & Wise, L. R. (1990). The motivational bases of public service. Public Administration Review, 50(3), 367–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Piquero, N. L. (2012). The only thing we have to fear is fear itself: Investigating the relationship between fear of falling and white collar crime. Crime and Delinquency, 58(3), 362–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Pontell, H. N., Black, W. K., & Geis, G. (2014). Too big to fail, too powerful to jail? On the absence of criminal prosecutions after the 2008 financial meltdown. Crime, Law and Social Change, 61(1), 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Powers, W. C., Troubh, R. S., & Winokur, H. S. (2002, February 1). Report of investigation by the Special Investigative Committee of the Board of Directors of Enron Corporation (218 pp).
  41. Ragothaman, S. C. (2014). The Madoff debacle: What are the lessons? Issues in Accounting Education, 29(1), 271–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Rawls, K. L. (2009). Martha Stewart and insider trading (10 pp). Faculty Publications and Presentations, School of Business, Liberty University.Google Scholar
  43. Shen, W. (2003). The dynamics of the CEO-board relationship: An evolutionary perspective. Academy of Management Review, 28(3), 466–476.Google Scholar
  44. Stadler, W.A. and Benson, M.L. (2012). Revisiting the Guilty Mind: The Neutralization of White-Collar Crime. Criminal Justice Review, 37(4), 494–511.Google Scholar
  45. Sutherland, E. H. (1940). White-collar criminality. American Sociological Review, 5, 1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Sutherland, E. H. (1949). White collar crime. New York: Holt Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
  47. Sykes, G., & Matza, D. (1957). Techniques of neutralization: A theory of delinquency. American Sociological Review, 22(6), 664–670.Google Scholar
  48. Treadway, D. C., Adams, G. L., Ranft, A. L., & Ferris, G. R. (2009). A meso-level conceptualization of CEO celebrity effectiveness. The Leadership Quarterly, 40(4), 554–570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Weaver, C. N. (1975). Job preferences of white collar and blue collar workers. Academy of Management Journal, 18(1), 167–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Wilmer and PwC. (2003). Report of investigation by the Special Investigative Committee of the Board of Directors of WorldCom Inc. (345 pp). Wilmer, Cutler, & Pickering (Councel) and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (Accounting Advisors). Retrieved February 8, 2015, from
  51. Wright, B. E. (2007). Public service and motivation: Does mission matter? Public Administration Review, 67(1), 54–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Leadership and Organizational BehaviourBI Norwegian Business SchoolOsloNorway

Personalised recommendations