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Criminogenic business and why it is important to have internal systems and checks in place to gauge the moral compass of the culture and ethics of business

CRIMINOGENIC: Having the propensity to commit a crime: causing or likely to cause criminal behaviour


The study of #Fraud is spread over a number of fields of academic study including jurisprudence, psychology, sociology, accountancy, and criminonology, to name a few.  Diane Vaughan, an american sociologist and professor at Columbia once said:

‘Organizations can be criminogenic because they encourage loyalty.  This in turn causes company’s personnel to sometimes perceive that the organization might be worth committing crime to maintain and further its goals.

The use of formal and informal rewards and punishments and social activity and pressures to participate, link employees needs and goals to the success of the company.  When a company achieves its goals, its employees prosper. 



In short, the interests of an organization and its employees coincide, and the situation may set stage for unlawful conduct by individuals on the company’s behalf’.


Having internal systems and checks in place to maintain moral compasses, ought to be applied at all levels in business.  This is just one tool of many, to ensure that motivating factors to commit fraud are kept in check, mindful of the working environment and business culture at all levels including management.

Professor David Rosen is a solicitor-advocate and principal of David Rosen & Co.  He is a qualified and working Certified Fraud Examiner, former strategic director of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners UK Chapter,  and he is a member of the Society of Legal Scholars, the Royal United Services Institute, and Resolution, amongst others. He regularly lectures as an honorary professor of Law at Brunel University in counter-fraud and counter-corruption.