Crime Prevention at the Workplace

This type of occupational crime may be associated with either merchandise loss or direct modification of prices and transactions with the purpose of benefiting oneself. Considering that any form of employee theft induces substantial harm to the financial performance of companies, the integration of adequate crime prevention procedures in the corporate security system is of great importance.

Nowadays, a lot of potential solutions to the problem of crime in the workplace exist. Some of them are based on finding a right balance between the implementation of crime deterrent technologies and skilled personnel, while others may focus on an analytical approach to various issues of employee theft, such as individual motivations for engagement in crime, the overall level of organizational morale, and possible external causes of illegal behaviors.

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To understand which of the available solutions can benefit employers in most, it is essential to review the major theories explaining criminal behavior at the workplace. After the appraisal of theoretical ideas, will be analyzed in the given paper. The review of the literature will help identify to what extent the security manager can utilize different theft prevention techniques in the workplace and propose some practical recommendations that might allow employers to increase security efficiency.

Literature Review

Rational Choice Theory

The rational choice theory suggests that offenders follow certain, often predictable pathways and that they make judgments based on cost-benefit analysis, however quick and rudimentary (Schneider 2014, p. 43). It means that people always tend to calculate the possible costs and benefits of their actions. Naturally, individuals will incline in favor of an act that might allow them to avoid pain and multiply pleasure even if they have to do something illegal.

It is implied that when an employee steals from his or her employer, he or she takes advantage of available opportunities associated with an insignificant risk of detection while providing significant potential for personal benefit.

As observed by Hollinger and Davis (2006), self-interested offenders are primarily motivated by the pursuit of financial gain (p. 208). Still, the forces driving individual motivations can vary from external economic pressures to a desire to get a portion of adrenaline by engaging in risk-taking behaviors. In either way, offenders usually consider the following factors to substantiate their behavioral decisions: perceived certainty and severity of formal and informal sanctions (e.g., criminal outcomes and loss of career mobility, etc.); moral controls and values; possible damage to self-image; benefits of noncompliance perceived legitimacy of legal regulations, etc. (Hollinger and Davis 2006).

The major strength of the rational choice theory is that it attempts to explain the psychological mechanisms underlying criminal behavior and the urge to steal, in particular. It is possible to say that by using the reviewed theoretical principles, employers and security officers can predict and manage crime to some extent through the examination of employees characteristics, staff education, and analysis of that may help inhibit adverse motivations.

However, it is hard to say that all events of theft are, in fact, based on a rational choice because emotion and affect can largely influence decision making. As stated by Walters (2015), emotions and psychological reactions can facilitate the process of choice-making by biasing individuals towards . In other words, a person will likely act in a way that feels right. It is apparent that these emotional biases are subjective in their nature and arise as a result of a complex chain of interactions between individuals and their environment.

Thus, it may be hard to forecast the cases of theft as personal perceptions of reality and morality differ in all people. It may be especially difficult to do in case an employee steals to get non-material gains, just for fun. Nevertheless, it is possible to presume that can also be partially controlled via corporate culture design practices and particular recruiting procedures.

Opportunity Theory

The given theoretical perspective suggests that people are inherently greedy and, if given an opportunity, they would steal. However, this inherent greed can translate into an actual act of theft merely in the circumstances inclining towards it. For instance, in stores, employees are always surrounded by things of distinct values and, sometimes, they see no barriers to taking those things from the workplace. In other cases, employees may have unlimited access to cash flows, which allows them to steal either large or small amounts of money when not supervised efficiently.

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