In the study of criminology, corporate crime is defined by James William (2014), “as a criminal act committed in the course of organizational activities for the benefit of the corporations”. Corporate crime would not have been recognized without the help of Sutherland, who was the first to perform research in that field (Waring, Chayet, 2001). He changed the traditional image of criminals, where crime was directly an outcome of poverty and introduced a criminal offender in a suit and tie (Waring, Chayet, 2001). Sutherland argued that poverty could not be seen as the main cause of crime and that crime could also be found in good neighborhoods (Waring, Chayet, 2001). Despite Sutherland’s fascination in the area of corporate crime, William (2014) states that it has been the most understudied area in criminology and suggests that criminologist tend to focus more on street crime ignoring the fact corporate crime has been proven to be twice as harmful and costly than street crime. In this literature review the key focus will be on corporate crime and its causes. First, I will in detail describe the causes of corporate crime using the strain theory and rational choice theory. Secondly I will examine the regulation of police corporate crime and explain how it fails. Thirdly I will analyze the beneficial relationship between corporate crime and politics. Lastly, I will use the Enron Scandal to show the harm that corporate crime causes and also to show the limited response it received from the police. If we are able to understand the causes of corporate crime and the flaws in regulations, then we will be able to implement policies to deter corporate crime.
Corporate crime and the Strain Theory
Wang and Holtfreter (2012) argue that there is a link between corporate crime and the strain theory. They argue that industry-level strains increase the motivation of corporations to commit crime (Wang and Holtfreter 2012). In addition they suggest that all corporations are