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Unethical decisions

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Unethical decisions



Occupational fraud is an intentional deed. According to the Routine Activities Theory, employees might take the decision to commit a fraud in an absence of control (security personnel, internal/external auditor etc.), an availability of a target organization and when are highly motivated (when finding themselves under financial pressure and have an appropriate rationalization).


What makes people take such unethical decisions?


Specialists in financial fraud prevention and detection say that there are six major motives behind the occupational crime:

  • Greed
  • Status
  • Revenge
  • Excitement
  • Parity with others.
  • Loss of moral compass.


Extensive interviews with forty-five prominent experts in the area of white-collar crime, all of them with at least fifteen years of experience, demonstrated that the most common motive behind the financial crime was greed. That is why DARK FOUR adds greed as the fourth element of its model. 


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  1. Ragatz, L. L., Fremouw, W., & Baker, E. (2012). The Psychological Profile of White-collar Offenders: Demographics, Criminal Thinking, Psychopathic Traits, and Psychopathology. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 39(7), 978-997. doi: 10.1177/0093854812437846
  2. Ramamoorti, S. (2013). A.B.C.’s of behavioral forensics : applying psychology to financial fraud prevention and detection.