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Organization of Corporate Crime: Dynamics of Antitrust Violation

NCJ Number
K M Jamieson
Date Published
114 pages
Using officially recorded information, this study examines structural and environmental factors that influence corporate executives to use illegal anticompetitive means to achieve corporate goals.
The first few chapters explore causative factors related to deviant behavior in the corporate setting, drawing on theoretical concepts based on the study of complex organizations and interorganizational behavior. One principle developed is that corporations are organized around a common goal to achieve profit, and firms will adopt a structure that is the most efficient and rational means of maximizing this goal. The connection between decreasing profits and illegal behaviors has been documented more clearly in the anecdotal literature than on an aggregate basis. This discrepancy can be addressed through an improved conceptualization of corporate profit. This study also attempts to make more explicit the connections between the corporation and its environment. Large manufacturing conglomerates that operate in turbulent environments represent discrepant structures and environments. Maladaptive behaviors are expected to be most prevalent where the incongruity between rational internal structure and uncertain operating environments is greatest. To examine these concepts in actual cases, the study analyzes all antitrust cases filed between 1981 and 1985 that involved Fortune 500 companies. Including both private and Federal Government cases, a total of 242 cases were examined. The analysis considers internal and environmental factors operating in the cases and the apparent causes of antitrust violations. Other chapters consider the prosecution of corporate crime, perspectives of government regulators, and how power relationships explain corporate illegal behaviors. 156 references and a subject index


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