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Peer Reporting to Control Employee Theft

NCJ Number
Security Journal Volume: 17 Issue: 2 Dated: 2004 Pages: 7-19
Michael J. Scicchitano; Tracy Johns; Read Hayes; Robert Blackwood
Bonnie S. Fisher, Martin Gill
Date Published
13 pages
This article examines the dynamics of peer reporting in employee theft and current peer-reporting processes.
Theft is one of the most profound problems facing retail stores with estimated annual losses estimated to be between $12 and $40 billion. Organizations use many methods to control chronic losses due to theft. Specifically, detection and prevention of employee theft involves some form of monitoring of employees. One of the most effective techniques is to have employees monitor and report suspicious, illegal, or unethical behavior by other employees. Successful reporting programs must provide the mechanisms, incentives, and environment to encourage employees to report theft by other employees. This report presents data from a survey of 10 companies about their efforts to facilitate and encourage employees’ reporting of dishonest or suspicious activities. A summary is provided of the use of toll-free hotlines for reporting dishonesty, as well as techniques to encourage the use of the hotline. The research indicates that, at least among the companies surveyed, large retail businesses do encourage their employees to report dishonesty that they witness in the workplace. They use a variety of techniques to promote peer reporting. All the companies involved in this survey use toll-free hotlines to facilitate peer reporting by their employees. One-half of the companies indicated that they use financial incentives to encourage their employees to report dishonesty. However, there were differences in the ways the companies made the financial awards and the amount of those awards. Future research is recommended in the examination of the level of financial awards and the promotional methods that are most effective in getting employees to participate in peer reporting programs. References