Corporate crime, or white-collar crime, is a term for illegal activities conducted by corporations and organizations. It has become an increasingly prevalent issue in the business world due to its potential to cause widespread financial damage and harm public trust in corporate institutions. The following literature review will focus on analyzing the motivations of corporate crime, as well as discussing strategies adopted by governments to combat it.
The primary motivation behind corporate crime is the pursuit of greater profit margins. According to McElvaine (2019), companies may engage in such activities out of a desire to “increase their bottom line and benefit their shareholders”. He cites the example of Volkswagen’s emissions scandal as indicative of this tendency; Volkswagen sought to gain a competitive edge over other automakers through cheating on emissions tests even though they knew it was against the law. This trend can also be observed on smaller scales within businesses; employees may steal from their employers with monetary gain being their ultimate goal (Schneider & Hallinger, 2019).