SOCIAL DEVIANCE: CHAPTER 10: DEVIANT ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOUR
Madoff- committed the largest financial fraud ever carried out by a single
individual > swindled his clients; charities, banks, schools and universities of
$65 billion. He ran a ‘ponzi scheme’. Sentenced to 150 years. This is a classic
case of white collar crime; he could not have committed his theft if he had not
been in a position to convince his victims to hand over their billions to him
willingly in the expectation they would earn more by investing with him.
Individual deviance: corresponds to 2 of Goffman’s famous trilogy:
1. Behaviour or conditions that indicate blemishes of individual character.
2. Physical traits that are considered abominations of the body.
Individuals who act as embodiments of a particular organization and within an
organization setting. The act can’t be performed without the actor’s location
within the setting.
The forms of deviance that entail actions whose setting is organizational and
whose agency is organizational >cooperate crimes.
Organizational deviance: stands outside Goffman’s trilogy as they can only be
enacted by people who have a particular position in a particular organization.
Cover-ups are an important aspect of deviance process.
The opportunity to engage in certain forms of deviance is structured according
to occupational position > main reason they engage in deviance is that they
are in a position to do so.
Causality: have to look at institutional climate; a product of social control from
the top of the organization.
WHITE-COLLAR AND CORPORATE CRIME
Cooperate crime is a subset of white collar crime.
Sutherland- white collar crime is an illegal action that is committed by the
occupant of high occupational status in the course of his or her professional
Excludes common or conventional crimes.
Stereotype > they are all rich and powerful.
Weisburd – found these offenders did not fit the usual portrait of white collar
criminals as occupying high-status positions > concluded that most white
collar offenders are ordinary people who got into financial difficulty and who
saw their way out through illegal and fraudulent measures.
All cooperate crime is white collar crime but it is a specific form/subtype >
entails executives and executive officers engaging in illegal actions that are
intended to further the interests of that cooperation; they are actions taken on
behalf of the cooperation > the victim is the cooperation.
In some respects it is deviant behaviour and in others it is not.
Most of us can understand the motives of the poor, powerless criminals, who
steal out of desperation or commit violence as a result of anger or frustration. The crimes of the rich and the powerful are puzzling to us > doesn’t make
Cooperate crime is similar to all instrumental actions; those that are designed
to achieve a certain goal; under certain circumstances achievement of the
goal assumes far greater importance than the means by which the goal was
attained > illegitimate means to achieve legitimate goal.
CORPORATE CRIME: CORRELATIVE FEATURES
Correlative features of corporate crime:
1. Made up of complex, sophisticated and relatively technical actions.
2. Intermingled with legitimate behaviour (i.e. illegal advertising claims are
made in the context of a legal legitimate advertising industry.
3. Victimization tends to be diffuse: harm is not always conceptualized or
identifiable as such because it is usually spread out over a substantial number
4. The monetary sums: tend to be large.
5. Cooperate crime is rarely prosecuted; if it is penalties are extremely light.
6. Cooperate crime doesn’t fit our stereotype of real crime; it is rarely
condemned to the same degree as street crime.
7. The media tend not to cover cooperate crime in as complete or detailed a
8. Cooperate criminals even after being convicted rarely think of themselves
as real criminals.
9. The intention to harm victim is absent in cooperate crimes.
Two reasons why cooperate crime is so much lucrative than ordinary
burglaries, robberies and larcenies:
1. Street criminals have to steal money in the form of a physical object and
hundreds of millions are not usually found in the same place at the same time.
Cooperate crimes steal by manipulating symbols > they can steal money they
don’t even have to pick up and carry away.