No one, especially those who have achieved success, believes that they are likely to stumble and err.
It is this sense of invincibility that has felled leaders across a range of fields—including the cyclist Lance Armstrong, the writer Jonah Lehrer, and the NBC news anchor Brian Williams. Their actions are not that bad, they argue, when compared with what others have done. Virtually every one of the former executives I spoke with pointed out, even complained, that it was not he who was the true villain—it was always someone else. Beneath the irony of this defense, there is an interesting truth.
White-collar crime refers to financially motivated, nonviolent crime committed by businesses and government professionals. It was first defined by the sociologist. Reportedly coined in , the term white-collar crime is now synonymous with the full range of frauds committed by business and government professionals.
We all confidently believe that we would have behaved differently if placed in the shoes of an executive engaging in malfeasance. However, this confidence is artificial. Instead, we have to imagine ourselves surrounded by their norms and immersed in their culture—not just in the present but in the past as well. We have to see ourselves as being shaped by the experiences they faced throughout their careers, not by those we face in our own. If anything, maybe we ought to humbly recognize that we might have behaved as they did. Yet, we can still hope, wish, and believe that we would act differently.
Perhaps Marc Dreier, the former graduate of Harvard and Yale who engineered a Ponzi scheme, actually had it right when he reflected on this conundrum.
Appreciating our lack of invincibility—our inherent weakness and frailty—offers us the best chance of designing the appropriate mechanisms to help manage these limitations. If we learn to be more suspicious of our gut feelings when placed in new or difficult situations, we can acknowledge the need to create more opportunities for reflection and to bring in the viewpoints of others to question us.
If we humbly recognize that we might not always even notice the choices that will lead us astray, we are more likely to develop ways to identify and control those decisions.
This crime involves a victim's property or money being taken by a person whom the victim trusts. The Positivist School of Criminology. Upgrade to Premium to add all these features to your account! Environmental Law. Black Voices.
Curious about the motives behind white-collar crime, Eugene Soltes spent seven years interviewing nearly 50 convicted corporate felons, including Bernard Madoff , Allen Stanford , and Dennis Kozlowski. Inside the Minds of Corporate Criminals. The fine line between confidence and hubris. In order to be published, comments must be on-topic and civil in tone, with no name calling or personal attacks. Updated : Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane reported to jail Thursday to begin serving a sentence of up to 23 months for perjury and obstruction of the law.
Toggle navigation. Home Topics White Collar Crime. Most Read Latest featured news Retrieved 23 December Retrieved 17 May Wadsworth Publishing. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Sociology: A Brief Introduction.
New York: Longman Pub Group. Harrow and Heston. Crime in Canadian Context: Debates and Controversies 2 ed. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 1 June New York Times. Buffalo News.
California Watch. South China Morning Post Publishers. South China Morning Post.
Retrieved 25 February PA, Frank. Retrieved 30 January The American Lawyer. Alexander Ejsmont. Retrieved 30 November Ellen S.
Yale Law Journal. Retrieved 24 March Psychological manipulation.
Rewarding : pleasant positive reinforcement. Aversive : unpleasant positive punishment. Climate of fear Traumatic bonding.
Types of fraud. Marriage Paternity. Benefit Electoral Medicare Visa Welfare. Scams and confidence tricks.
Confidence trick Error account Shill Shyster Sucker list. Con artists Confidence tricks Criminal enterprises, gangs and syndicates Email scams Impostors In the media Film and television Literature Ponzi schemes.
Categories : White-collar criminals Corporate crime Crime Words coined in the s. Hidden categories: CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter Use dmy dates from October Articles that may contain original research from September All articles that may contain original research Articles needing additional references from September All articles needing additional references Articles with multiple maintenance issues Commons category link is on Wikidata Portal templates with all redlinked portals Webarchive template wayback links.