AuthorHerbert, Carey Lynn, 1967-
KeywordsSociology, Theory and Methods.
Business Administration, Management.
Sociology, Criminology and Penology.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractNowhere is the tendency to typologize in criminological research more evident than in the area of white-collar crime research, which is often aimed at distinguishing white-collar criminals and their crimes from other types of criminals and their offenses. This study incorporates a test of the applicability of Gottfredson and Hirschi's self-control theory to white-collar crime--a form of criminal conduct to which the theory's critics assert it is inapplicable. For those who attribute more planning and sophistication to white-collar crime than to other forms of offending, explanations for white-collar offending that reference impulsivity and inattention to the consequences of action are decidedly unsatisfactory. Analyses of survey data, collected as part of the Tucson Youth Project, indicate that self-control is a significant predictor of workplace offending. From an operational standpoint, the relative merits of behavioral versus attitudinal measures of self-control were considered. These findings suggest that behavioral measures of self-control are better predictors of offending. Although possibly a measurement artifact, the findings also suggest that attitudinal self-control is only spuriously related to offending. The perceived need to distinguish white-collar crime stems from the dissimilarities between white-collar crime and "ordinary" street crime. These crimes are often separated along spatial lines, and their perpetrators are often separated along race and socioeconomic status lines. Testing the validity of these distinctions was another objective of this study. Analyses were performed to determine whether the patterns of association between offending and known correlates of offending are similar for both white-collar and non-white-collar crime. The results indicate that offending in the workplace and offending beyond the workplace are more similar than not. One important finding is that self-control explains less of the variation in white-collar offending than in non-white-collar offending. One plausible explanation for this finding is that criminal opportunity plays a relatively more important role in workplace deviance than in other contexts. The mechanisms by which organizations affect the behavior of individuals are, of course, still a matter of theoretical conjecture, and an important subject for future research.
Degree ProgramGraduate College