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Some causes of (increasing) economic criminality:

  • Lax internal control environment and cutbacks in internal control personnel and systems
  • Excessive employee authorization levels
  • Management override possible (allowing controls to be side-stepped)
  • Reduced levels of loyalty to the company
  • Increased demands on performance
  • High proportion of remuneration dependant on company turnover, profits etc.
  • Stagnating income
  • Lack of role model behavior from the management
  • Lack of open and risk-oriented internal communication
  • Social value changes that are manifesting themselves in the form of a reduced sense of right and wrong, reduced resistance to temptation and excessive consumerism

Companies undergoing restructuring or expansion tend to be hit disproportionately hard by economic criminality.

One particularly important prevention factor is the extent to which individual employees and managers identify with the company. Instilling a sense of corporate identity exerts a significant influence on the root causes of economic criminality, making personnel feel they have less reason to commit illegal acts. This is therefore an important component of any good prevention strategy.