City College – Criminal behaviour by company employees

Employees resort to stealing and other criminal behaviour because they do not want to work for the things that they would like to own and are seeking shortcuts like embezzlement or stealing for getting extra money. Such criminal behaviour occurs when the employees think that they can get away with their behaviour or they think that even if detected they will not be punished, just given a warning or termination from their jobs. Companies do not like to involve themselves with criminal cases. Occasionally employees are just left off with a warning, a mere ‘slap on the wrist’ as it were which encourages other employees to steal or embezzle.

It has been found that trusted employees who had been with the company for many years and thought to be totally honest were later found to be dishonest and stealing and embezzling company funds or company products. Internal crimes harm the company more than external thefts. According to experts, the design of retailing environments to accommodate self- selection significantly increases the ease of stealing, at the same time dramatically reducing the perceived risk of being caught and which can trigger a series of neutralising behaviour”. A dishonest employee may carry out many malicious activities which might lead to a high customer and employee’s turnover rate.

Companies have to make up for such losses by increasing costs which results in consumers paying higher prices for the service/product and employees might have to face salary cuts or even the loss of their jobs. This ripple effect continues further because with decreasing profits, investors or employees might not be able to pay off their loans, and it becomes much harder to obtain credit. When all these frauds become public knowledge, investors lose faith in the stock market and refrain from investing freely. This hurts businesses and among other losses also raises the unemployment rate as companies close down because of unbearable losses.

Other employees also suffer life-shattering losses because scandals like Enron can wipe out their retirement funds. Lack of proper designs, methods and process control creates opportunities for deviant behaviour which essentially brings about shrinkage and shoplifting. Comprehensive management programmes should address profit or loss, strength, weakness, opportunity and threat that can be packed into one programme to improve planning for preventing internal crime. Although the employees are stealing from the company, they adopt an attitude of innocence as if they are doing nothing wrong.

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