Less or Small Work is Crime in Corporate World
In the corporate world, the expectation is generally that employees will contribute to the organization's goals and work diligently to achieve them. While it may not be accurate to categorize less or small work as a "crime," per se, it is typically not viewed positively within a corporate environment.
In a competitive business landscape, companies strive for efficiency, productivity, and profitability. They rely on their employees to contribute their skills and efforts towards these objectives. When an employee consistently performs below expectations or fails to fulfill their responsibilities adequately, it can have detrimental effects on the company's overall performance.
While it is important to acknowledge that not all employees are equally capable or have the same workload, consistently producing less or smaller work compared to peers can lead to concerns about an individual's commitment, motivation, or competence. It can raise questions about their suitability for their current role or the organization as a whole.
In some cases, consistently underperforming or engaging in minimal effort can be considered a form of misconduct or negligence. It may violate employment contracts, ethical guidelines, or company policies. Employers have the right to expect a certain level of performance and productivity from their employees, and failure to meet these expectations can result in consequences such as warnings, reprimands, performance improvement plans, or even termination.
However, it is essential to consider individual circumstances and factors that may influence an employee's work output. Factors such as workload distribution, resource availability, personal circumstances, or health issues can all impact an employee's ability to perform at their best. It is important for employers to provide support, guidance, and opportunities for improvement before taking disciplinary actions.
Ultimately, while less or small work may not be classified as a crime, it is generally not conducive to a successful career in the corporate world. Employees are expected to demonstrate dedication, professionalism, and a commitment to achieving organizational goals. Meeting or exceeding performance expectations is important for personal growth, career advancement, and maintaining a positive reputation within the company.
What is corporate crime? Corporate crime, sometimes called white-collar crime, is crime committed by individuals on behalf of a business. The corporate crime definition indicates clearly that corporate crimes are committed by individuals to benefit the companies that employ them, although the individuals involved may themselves profit from such acts.
Criminologists have proposed several theories of corporate crime. The first formal explanation for corporate crime was put forward by criminologist Edwin Sutherland in 1939. His Theory of Differential Association suggests that criminal behavior occurs when individuals associate with others who view criminal acts in a positive light. Sutherland also claims that criminal behavior occurs only if individuals are in an environment where most associates do not view criminal behavior in a negative way.
Some criminologists have criticized the Theory of Differential Association, noting that it fails to consider other causes such as depression and drug abuse. Sutherland's theory also fails to account for differences among individuals.
Corporate Crime Examples
Corporate crime examples are plentiful and take many forms. Violation of environmental laws, bribery, false claims, and corporate fraud are a few examples of corporate crime; types of white-collar crimes are limited, of course, only by the criminal's imagination.
Individuals who violate environmental laws designed to protect the environment typically do so to increase corporate profits. Although the company may benefit from failing to abide by environmental regulations, in this type of case the individuals who instigate the crime likely expect to benefit indirectly as well through corporate bonuses, increased salary, or higher stock prices. An example of this type of crime can be found in a case involving Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. In 1999, the company was ordered to pay a record-breaking 18 million dollar fine for routinely dumping waste oil, a widespread practice that occurred throughout the company's fleet. Representatives of the company also lied to the Coast Guard regarding oil disposal by submitting falsified oil logs.
Bribery occurs when an individual offers something of value to another person to influence the recipient's actions. In 2014, Rite Aid Corporation was ordered to pay a 2.99 million dollar fine for offering gift cards to Medicare and Medicaid patients to influence them to transfer their prescriptions to Rite Aid pharmacies.
In the 1980s, Beech Nut settled a case that showed the company had made false claims when it claimed its apple juice was 100% fruit juice. In fact, the product was shown to consist primarily of sugar water with only a small amount of apple juice.
Corporate fraud involves the intentional misstatement of facts about the company's financial situation or its corporate actions. This kind of misrepresentation is intended to mislead the public or increase company profits. In the largest case of corporate fraud at the time, WorldCom, a Mississippi-based telecommunications company, was found to have overstated its earnings to drive up stock prices. These actions led to the company's bankruptcy and a 25-year prison sentence for WorldCom's CEO.
Corporations and criminality
Most criminologists divide white-collar crime into two major types: corporate crime and occupational crime (crime committed during the course of a legitimate occupation, for one’s own benefit). Most corporate criminals do not view their activities as criminal, since their violations are usually part of their occupational environment. Corporate offenders remain committed to conventional society and do not identify with criminality. Their inappropriate behavior is often informally approved by occupational or corporate subcultures.
Despite Sutherland’s pioneering study, little attention was focused on the white-collar variety until the first large-scale, comprehensive investigation of corporate crime, by American criminologists Marshall Clinard and Peter Yeager, titled Illegal Corporate Behavior, 1975–1976 (1979). The study involved a systematic investigation of administrative, civil, and criminal actions either filed or completed by 25 federal agencies against 477 of the largest wholesale, retail, and service organizations in the United States. Many of the same patterns that had been discovered by Sutherland some three decades earlier were found to persist. About 60 percent of the large corporations had at least one legal action initiated against them, while the most deviant firms—8 percent of the corporations—committed the majority of offenses (52 percent of all offenses). The oil, pharmaceutical, and automobile industries were responsible for almost half of all violations. The leniency with which corporate violators were treated persisted.
The challenge of combating corporate crime
While corporations may complain about the burden of federal bureaucracies and their enforcement of regulations, guilty companies generally have more expertise, staff, and time to devote to their defense than the government has for prosecution. Regulatory agencies have been criticized as being ineffective in enforcing laws against powerful corporations. Often the penalties for law violation are too small to act as deterrents. Offenders are seldom convicted and rarely get jail time. Many are permitted to plead nolo contendere (no contest) to charges, which enables them to escape the stigma of being labeled “guilty” or “criminal.” The appointed directors of agencies are often drawn from the very corporations to be regulated; these same companies may then hire retiring agency employees. In addition, the amount of money governments assign to corporate crime generally is much smaller than that allocated for street crime.
Founder of MBA Saree Wali