White Collar and Corporate Crimes

Crimes are basically illicit acts that are forbidden by the law in which perpetuation of it is punishable. This are conceptual and actual actions that are imposed to be illegal due to legal and social grounds as ruled to caused discrepancy, inequality, and threat to the society and fellow human beings. In the traditional perspective, crimes are mainly acts that are offensive in physical nature such as murder, theft, harassment and others.

However, due to the rapid development of the society particularly in the economic and professional aspects, modern forms of crimes that are not necessarily physical in nature are established in the legal aspect. Most of these crimes are perpetuated to intercede between transactions and business events to favor the interest of a particular party. Because of its biased nature and detrimental effects to the culture of the economic field and social professionalism, these illicit acts are therefore established as forms of criminal acts with punishable sanctions.

Crimes involving the economic and professional fields mainly affect the flow of vital informations thus, affecting decisions and critical organizational matters. This is to put the advantage to a particular party in the form of economic interest and organization influence. In this category, the concepts of white-collar crime and corporate crime gain much fame as the most implemented illicit acts in the present society. Both of these criminal acts posed much advantage for its perpetuators however, they also have significant detrimental effect to the culture of business and organization field particularly in the issue of truthfulness and trust.

Thus, the legal sector has sanctioned these acts to be forbidden under legal authority. White-collar crimes are mainly defined as illicit acts perpetuated by a person with a high and respectable social status in the course of his or her profession or occupation. This is basically related to the social idea relating the concept of white-collar jobs to professional fields. In the modern criminology field, white-collar crimes is defined and identified based under two basis and reference namely by the type of offense and the type of offender.

The first reference involves acts related to property issues, economic aspect, law violations and others are considered as white-collar crimes as these cases involve professional degree and culture. The second is based from the type of offender wherein the social class and personal stature of the criminal are considered. Some of the common manifestations of this form of crime are fraud, bribery, computer crime, forgery, insider trading, embezzlement, and others. On the other hand, corporate crimes are those offensive and forbidden acts that are committed by corporation or organizations having business personality or entity.

Crimes in this nature are established and tried through viewing the corporation as a single entity apart from the individuals involved in such organization. As corporation enjoying separate entity has their own vicarious and corporate liability, they qualified to stand as an individual punishable of legal sanction. Corporate crimes are determined based on the collective offensive act of the organization such as forgery in the named of their corporation’s benefit. These crimes are established to be actions supported by the collective and unanimous or majority decision of the individual acting in the behalf of the corporation.

Thus, corporate crimes overlaps the concept of white-collar crime as perpetuators of the former involves group of people with high social class related by same corporate interest. Punishment of corporate crimes is applicable to all individuals related to the corporation who has influential decision over organizational matters unlike white-collar crimes, which are usually tied with single individual. In general, corporate crimes manifests larger extent because of their collective power and influence yet, white-collar crimes are more common because they only involved single decision.

Criminal acts are forbidden mainly because of their detrimental effects to the ideal and usual nature and culture of each social field. In the aspect of professional and economic activities, both white-collar and corporate crimes induce manipulation of information to tip the advantage towards the perpetuating party. This significantly affects the outcome of the process and possibly overlooking some ethical and legal issues thus, causing detrimental influence over the normative process of the said aspects.

To preserve the ethical and ideal culture of the professional and economic aspects, crimes of both white-collar and corporate are forbidden and punishable by legal sanction to prevent its perpetuation and detrimental effects to the society.


Brickey, Kathleen (2006). Corporate and White Collar Crime: Cases and Materials. Aspen Publishers. 4th Edition. ISBN-10: 0735556164. Pontell, Henry N. & Geis, Gilbert L (2006). International Handbook of White-Collar and Corporate Crime. Springer Publication. 1st Edition. ISBN-10: 0387341102.