Corporate and White-Collar Crime


Edited by: John Minkes & Leonard Minkes

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  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Copyright

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    This book is dedicated to the memory of Ruth Minkes who did so much to support the careers of the two editors.

    Notes on Contributors

    Robert Elliott Allinson is Professor of Philosophy and Director of Humanities at Soka University of America. He was previously Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and has been invited to hold senior visiting appointments internationally, including Yale, Oxford, Cambridge and Copenhagen. His numerous books and papers, notably on cross-cultural and business ethics, include Saving Human Lives: Lessons in Management Ethics (Springer, 2005) and Understanding the Chinese Mind (OUP, 2000).

    James Gobert has been a Professor of Law at the University of Essex since 1988, including a three-year term as Dean of the Law School. Before coming to Essex, he was a Professor of Law in the US for 15 years, with appointments at the University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University and the University of Michigan. Over the past decade, his research has focused primarily on corporate crime, and he has written several books and articles on this topic, including, most significantly, Rethinking Corporate Crime (with M. Punch) (Butterworths, 2003).

    Omi Hatashin, LLB (Tokyo), MA, PhD, is a barrister of the Inner Temple, a member of the Academic Society of Comparative Law, Tokyo, an occasional associate member of the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies of the University of Oxford (2004–7) and a visiting fellow at the Institute of European and Comparative Law, Oxford (2008–9). His interests centre on comparative legal studies in a socio-cultural dimension with particular reference to Japan.

    Brian J. Loasby is Honorary and Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Stirling. He has written five books and over a hundred journal articles and chapters in multi-author books. His interests centre on the relationships between knowledge and organization, conceiving both as selective connections, and extend to human cognition, firms and inter-firm relationships, decision processes, the history of economics and economic methodology.

    Gerald Mars, an applied anthropologist, is Honorary Professor at University College London and Visiting Professor at Liverpool Hope and London Metropolitan Universities. He is Joint General Editor of The International Library of Criminology, has published eleven books and over sixty papers and in 2003 was awarded the Royal Anthropological Institute's Lucy Mair medal ‘for consistent excellence in applied anthropology’.

    John Minkes is a Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the Centre for Criminal Justice and Criminology, Swansea University. He was previously a probation officer, a researcher at Cardiff and Bristol Universities and a social worker. His primary research interests are corporate crime, the history of criminal justice and probation and youth justice.

    Leonard Minkes is Emeritus Professor of Business Organisation, University of Birmingham. He has had an extensive academic career in Britain and overseas, as well as in advisory and consulting work in business and public sector organizations. He also had a period in the United Nations in Geneva early in his career. His primary interest and numerous publications are in corporate strategy and management.

    Nicole Leeper Piquero is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice in the Wilder School of Government Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University.

    Maurice Punch has worked at universities in the UK, the USA and the Netherlands where he has lived since 1975; he has researched corporate crime and police corruption and published widely; after twenty years in Dutch universities he became an independent researcher and is currently Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics.

    Laureen Snider is Professor of Sociology at Queen's University, in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Her most recent publications on corporate crime include ‘This Time We Really Mean It! Cracking Down on Stockmarket Fraud’, in H. Pontell and G. Geis (eds), International Handbook of White-Collar Crime (Kluwer, 2006); ‘From Manslaughter to Preventable Accident: Shaping Corporate Criminal Liability’, Journal of Law & Policy, 2006 (with Steve Bittle), and ‘The Criminological Lens: Understanding Criminal Law and Corporate Governance’, in J. O'Brien (ed.), Governing the Corporation: Regulation and Corporate Governance in an Age of Scandal and Global Markets (Wiley, 2005).

    Steve Tombs is Professor of Sociology at Liverpool John Moores University and Chair of the Centre for Corporate Accountability (, a human rights charity. His most recent publication is Safety Crimes with Dave Whyte (Willan, 2007). He co-authored Corporate Crime (Longman, 1999) with Gary Slapper, and Toxic Capitalism (Ashgate, 1998; Canadian Scholars' Press, 1999) with Frank Pearce, and co-edited Beyond Criminology? Taking Harm Seriously (Pluto Press, 2004), Criminal Obsessions (Crime and Society Foundation, 2005), and Unmasking the Crimes of the Powerful: Scrutinising States and Corporations with Dave Whyte (Peter Lang, 2003).

    Elin Waring is Professor of Sociology at Lehman College, City University of New York. She has published extensively in the areas of white-collar crime, organized crime and co-offending. Her major works include Russian Mafia in America: Crime, Immigration and Culture; White Collar Crime and Criminal Careers, and Crimes of the Middle Classes.

    David Weisburd is Walter E. Meyer Professor of Law and Criminal Justice and Director of the Institute of Criminology at the Hebrew University Faculty of Law in Jerusalem, and Distinguished Professor of Administration of Justice at George Mason University in Virginia. He has authored or edited with colleagues a number of books on white-collar crime including Crimes of the Middle Classes (Yale Press, 1991), White-Collar Crime Reconsidered (Northeastern University Press, 1992) and White-Collar Crime and Criminal Careers (Cambridge University Press, 2002). He is also co-editor (with Sally Simpson) of a forthcoming book entitled The Criminology of White-Collar Crime (Springer Verlaag).

  • Glossary

    • Actus reus the conduct of the accused and its results.
    • Bounded rationality intendedly rational but limited by inherent limits to knowledge.
    • Bull market market in which investors buy stocks and shares in the hope and expectation of rising prices so that they can sell later at a profit. The reverse is a bear market; bears expect falling prices so there is an incentive to sell before they drop.
    • Cartel an agreement between different firms to fix prices or market shares rather than compete. Cartels usually result in customers paying higher prices and are illegal in most jurisdictions under laws intended to promote competition.
    • Cognition the process of knowing, acquiring information and understanding.
    • Cognitive dissonance unwillingness or inability to believe evidence that conflicts with existing beliefs.
    • Corporate culture complex term relating generally to accepted patterns of behaviour, both formal and informal, in an organization, whether established through formal rules or regulations, or by ‘understood’ habits or conventions.
    • Criminogenic inherently tending to produce crime.
    • Decision cycle processes of deciding, including implementation.
    • Deregulation reduction in the controls placed by government regulations on the conduct of business; a marked feature of British and American policy during the 1980s and 1990s.
    • Differential association general theory of crime put forward by Sutherland among others which argues that criminal behaviour is learned from others and the likelihood of an individual becoming a criminal depends on whether his or her associates view crime favourably or unfavourably.
    • Economies of scale reduction in unit costs as size of enterprise grows.
    • Estoppel a rule of evidence which states that a witness cannot deny the truth of a statement he or she has previously made or the existence of facts which he has led another to believe.
    • Framing device the way in which facts or a typically complex situation are presented i.e. ‘framed’; this may influence attitudes towards them so that the same facts may thus evoke different responses.
    • Group think tendency for individuals to conform to the group view rather than make an individual decision.
    • Hermeneutic relating to interpretation.
    • Iatrogenic regulation from iatrogenic meaning illness caused by medical treatment e.g. as side-effects. In matters of, say, economic or social policy, the term could apply to the risk of unintended or contradictory effects and the need to deal with them. For example, rent control to benefit tenants was held by critics to reduce landlords' incentive to spend on property maintenance.
    • Identification principle in English law, the principle that a corporation cannot be convicted of a criminal offence unless an individual officer of that company, senior enough to be identified as the ‘controlling mind’ is also convicted.
    • Induction reasoning from the facts.
    • Insider trading using knowledge gained as an insider to one's advantage in share dealings; a criminal offence in some jurisdictions.
    • Mens rea guilty mind or criminal intention.
    • Methodological individualism attempting to explain societal phenomena by focusing on the decisions and actions of individuals.
    • Micro-, macro- as in micro-economics relating to the theory of the firm, or the individual consumer; macro-economics relating to the economy as a whole.
    • Neo-liberalism political movement that views economic liberalism and deregulation as the key to economic and social development, widely regarded as the dominant philosophy in the West in the 1980s and the 1990s.
    • Organizational culture see corporate culture.
    • Oxymoron juxtaposition of seemingly contradictory terms e.g. bitter laughter; gentle tyrant.
    • Paradigm a model or pattern of thought, particularly one that defines the parameters of an academic discipline.
    • Positivism the theory that human behaviour can be understood by scientific observation; individual positivism focuses on explaining the behaviour of individuals and sociological positivism on understanding the behaviour of groups or societies.
    • Rational Choice theory assumption that individuals and organizations make choices based on rational consideration of the advantages and disadvantages.
    • Satisficing accepting choices and solutions which are satisfactory (i.e. good enough) rather than perfect, since we cannot know all possible choices and outcomes.
    • Schumpeterian following the doctrines of J.A. Schumpeter (1880–1953), noted Austro-American economist, who wrote on many topics, e.g. entrepreneurship, innovation, business cycles.
    • Self-regulation the practice of allowing industries or professions to regulate the conduct of their members rather than establishing an external body to regulate them. The British Medical Association is an example of self-regulation; in contrast, the Health and Safety Executive is a statutory regulatory agency external to the industries it regulates.
    • Strain theory the theory that crime is caused by strain between people's legitimate aspirations and the opportunities available to them to achieve them; crime is one of a number of possible responses (the others include e.g. withdrawal from society).
    • Synergy a situation where the effects of combining two or more items or units are greater than the sum of the individual parts, e.g. two individuals or departments working together might have ideas which would not occur to either of them working separately.
    • Techniques of neutralization the means of minimizing or denying the impact of one's crimes, such as blaming the victim or claiming that no harm was caused.
    • Transactions costs the costs of making (market) transactions, e.g. of finding suitable suppliers; of making contracts; of collecting information.

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