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Ancillary Consequences of Employee Theft

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 32 Issue: 1 Dated: January/February 2004 Pages: 63-73
Brian K. Payne; Randy R. Gainey
Date Published
January 2004
11 pages
This article discusses the consequences of employee theft.
Few studies have considered the non-economic consequences that occur as a result of employee theft, such as business failures, lost jobs, higher taxes, and higher prices. Using victimological research as a starting point and integrating those findings with the employee theft research, a series of hypotheses about the “ancillary consequences” of employee theft were developed. Employee theft victims will be more likely than nonemployee theft victims to see the availability of qualified labor as a problem; less likely to recommend opening a business in their neighborhood; more likely to cite problems hiring trustworthy workers; more likely to experience turnover and hire more employees in the upcoming year; less likely to be satisfied with the productivity of their workers; and less likely to place trust in the police. As part of the Empowerment 2010 initiative, a survey assessing various issues about businesses existing in traditionally lower income neighborhoods was developed to provide a baseline assessment of business needs and concerns in empowerment zone communities. In all, 457 business owners, managers, supervisors, or other employees greatly involved in the business were interviewed. Based on the result of this study, the physical, emotional, and economic consequences of employee theft were vast and could be grouped into four categories: (1) employee centered consequences, (2) employer based consequences, (3) police based consequences, and (4) revictimization. The results suggest that employee turnover will be higher as a result of theft in the workplace, and employees will wear the brunt of negative perceptions held by employers and managers that have experienced employee theft. Managers and owners that reported catching employees stealing were more likely to be physically exhausted at the end of a day’s work than those that did not catch employees stealing. Employee theft victims were less apt than nonvictims to trust the police or have faith that the police could help. Businesses that experience employee theft are more apt to experience other types of victimization as well. 6 tables, 50 references


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