Rotten apples versus rotten barrels in white collar crime : A qualitative analysis of white collar offenders in Norway
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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White-collar crime is financial crime committed by white-collar criminals. Sensational white-collar crime cases regularly appear in the international business press and studies in journals of ethics and crime. It is certainly an interesting issue whether to view white-collar misconduct and crime as acts of individuals perceived as 'rotten apples' or as an indication of systems failure in the company, the industry or the society as a whole. The perspective of occupational crime is favoring the individualistic model of deviance, which is a human failure model of misconduct and crime. This rotten apple view of white-collar crime is a comfortable perspective to adopt for business organizations as it allows them to look no further than suspect individuals. In our sample of 255 convicted white-collar criminals, rotten apples received a jail sentence of 2.8 years on average, while rotten barrel members received only 1.9 years. The sample was drawn from newspaper accounts in Norway from 2009 to 2012.
This article was published in an Open Access journal, available from http://www.sascv.org/