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  • GeneticPsychosMom (Tina) 09:04 on September 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , greed,   

    Green Criminal Activity 

    trash dumping

    Crime statistics often present a distorted view of crime because they fail to include the large volume and scope of crime and harm that ecological disorganization produces. In short, green criminologists often reference this harm in comparison to traditional ‘street’ crimes that the state records for statistical purposes for crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, assault, larceny and motor vehicle theft. Green crimes easily surpass the volume and number of victims reported in crime statistics that are kept by the state. There are a wide variety of green crimes, and the victims of green crimes include non-traditional victims whom criminologists do not ordinarily examine. In addition to human victims, green crimes also have non-human victims including animals, plants, and ecosystems. Green crimes do not outnumber the crimes reported by the police such as murder, rape, assault, larceny, burglary and motor vehicle theft simply because there are more categories of victims. For instance, green-harms often victimize larger numbers of human victims in a single incident compared with typical street crimes.

    A single green crime may produce hundreds, thousands or even millions of human victims. Some of those victims suffer repeated victimization as green crimes can also unfold over long periods of time and have a duration not typically associated with street crimes. Each of these factors increases the scope, intensity, and numbers of green victimizations, making these forms of victimization quite different from the typical street crime victimization incident. Green harm and crime are important conceptually and theoretically as well because they have the ability to cause forms of ecological damage that change the very nature of the world.

    These green harms can also make the world uninhabitable. Abandoned towns and communities exist because of the health hazards posed by toxic pollutants and other related environmental disasters that are counted among green crimes. In the United States, for example, these locations include: Times Beach, Missouri (due to dioxin pollution); Centralia, Pennsylvania (due to underground mining fires); Love Canal, Niagara Falls, NY (due to widespread disposal of toxic waste); Pitcher, Oklahoma (due to concentrations of lead and zinc pollution); Treece, Kansas (due to lead pollution). These cities, and others around the world, stand as monuments to the tremendous harms green crimes can produce. In addition to these abandoned cities, there are currently 1,163 Superfund sites that are portions of cities, towns, and communities in the United States listed as containing sufficient levels of ground pollution to require remediation.

    The environmental impacts of the international capitalist economy include escalated carbon dioxide pollution and other hazardous pollutants. As some researchers note, corporations fail to consider how their behaviours impact ecological disorganization because they externalize the costs of ecological harms—ecological problems that are produced by corporations become social problems which the government, rather than the private firms that create those problems, must address. This shifts the expense of anti-environmental practices to the state, which must tax citizens to generate the funds for remedies. Corporations benefit from the combination of weak environmental regulations and a pseudo-free market which enables the corporations to externalize costs to the state. This, in turn, facilitates private-sector accumulation by transferring corporate costs to individual tax-payers.

    Exerpts from “IS IT A CRIME TO PRODUCE ECOLOGICAL DISORGANIZATION?” by Michael J. Lynch, Michael A. Long, Kimberly L. Barrett and Paul B. Stretesky. BRIT. J. CRIMINOL. (2013) 53, 997–1016

    Photo courtesy CoastalCare.org

     

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    • nowve666 10:26 on September 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I wouldn’t call this “green crime.” Civil disobedience in protest of pollution such as the activists who are trying to stop the pipelines through Native American lands or the disgusting desecration of our marine life committed by BP can be called a green “crime.” Harming the ecology isn’t “green.” I’m not trying to be a word-nazi. But this terminology confused me until I read the whole article.

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    • Narcissism alert 00:42 on September 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      It is a green crime because it desecrates God’s green earth. It is another example of how laws have to be toughened in every arena to stop sociopaths from befouling everything sacred and important to the livelihood and sustainability of others. If not, they always game the system.

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  • GeneticPsychosMom (Tina) 11:16 on May 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , greed, , , , , , ,   

    Psychopaths in Workplaces 

    A mannequin, like a psychopath, doesn't care about you.

    Psychopathy in the Workplace is a serious issue as, although psychopaths typically represent only a small percentage of the staff, they are most common at higher levels of corporate organizations and their actions often cause a ripple effect throughout an organization, setting the tone for an entire corporate culture. Examples of detrimental effects are increased bullying, conflict, stress, staff turnover and absenteeism; reduction in productivity and social responsibility. Ethical standards of entire organisations can be badly damaged if a corporate psychopath is in charge.

    Academics refer to psychopaths in the workplace individually variously as workplace psychopaths, executive psychopaths, corporate psychopaths, business psychopaths, successful psychopaths, office psychopaths, white collar psychopaths, industrial psychopaths, organizational psychopaths or occupational psychopaths.

    Robert D. Hare reports that about 1 percent of the general population meets the clinical criteria for psychopathy. Hare further claims that the prevalence of corporate psychopaths is higher in the business world than in the general population. Figures of around 3–4% have been cited for more senior positions in business. However, even with this small percentage, corporate psychopaths can do enormous damage when they are positioned in senior management roles.

    General

    Oliver James identifies psychopathy as one of the dark triadic personality traits in the workplace, the others being narcissism and Machiavellianism.

    Workplace psychopaths are often charming to staff above their level in the workplace hierarchy but abusive to staff below their level.

    Hare considers newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell to have been a strong candidate as a corporate psychopath.

    Differentiation is made between:

    • successful psychopaths – corporate high climbers who tend to have had a relatively privileged background with little risk of legal penalties

    • unsuccessful psychopaths – involved in regular crime who tend to have had less privileged backgrounds and much higher risk of legal penalties.

    The organizational psychopath

    The organizational psychopath craves a god-like feeling of power and control over other people. They prefer to work at the very highest levels of their organizations, allowing them to control the greatest number of people. Psychopaths who are political leaders, managers, and CEOs fall into this category.

    Organizational psychopaths generally appear to be intelligent, sincere, powerful, charming, witty, and entertaining communicators. They quickly assess what people want to hear and then create stories that fit those expectations. They will con people into doing their work for them, take credit for other people’s work and even assign their work to junior staff members. They have low patience when dealing with others, display shallow emotions, are unpredictable, undependable and fail to take responsibility if something goes wrong that is their fault.

    Careers with the highest proportion of psychopaths

    According to Dutton, the ten careers that have the highest proportion of psychopaths are:

    1. CEO

    2. Lawyer

    3. Media (TV/radio)

    4. Salesperson

    5. Surgeon

    6. Journalist

    7. Police officer

    8. Clergy

    9. Chef

    10. Civil servant

    Behavioural patterns

    The workplace psychopath may show a high number of the following behavioural patterns. The individual behaviours themselves are not exclusive to the workplace psychopath; though the higher number of patterns exhibited the more likely he or she will conform to the psychopath’s characteristic profile:

    • Public humiliation of others (high propensity of having temper tantrums or ridiculing work performance)

    • Malicious spreading of lies (intentionally deceitful)

    • Remorseless or devoid of guilt

    • Frequently lies to push his/her point

    • Rapidly shifts between emotions – used to manipulate people or cause high anxiety

    • Intentionally isolates persons from organizational resources

    • Quick to blame others for mistakes or for incomplete work even though he/she is guilty

    • Encourages co-workers to torment, alienate, harass and/or humiliate other peers

    • Takes credit for other people’s accomplishments

    • Steals and/or sabotages other persons’ works

    • Refuses to take responsibility for misjudgements and/or errors

    • Threatens any perceived enemy with job loss and/or discipline in order to taint employee file

    • Sets unrealistic and unachievable job expectations to set employees up for failure

    • Refuses or is reluctant to attend meetings with more than one person

    • Refuses to provide adequate training and/or instructions to singled out victim

    • Invades personal privacy of others

    • Has multiple sexual encounters with junior and/or senior employees

    • Develops new ideas without real follow-through

    • Very self-centered and extremely egotistical (often conversation revolves around them – great deal of self-importance)

    • Often borrows money and/or other material objects without any intentions of giving it back

    • Will do whatever it takes to close the deal (no regards for ethics or legality)

    How a typical workplace psychopath climbs to and maintains power

    The authors of the book Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work describe a five-phase model of how a typical workplace psychopath climbs to and maintains power:

    1. Entry – psychopaths may use highly developed social skills and charm to obtain employment into an organisation. At this stage it will be difficult to spot anything which is indicative of psychopathic behaviour, and as a new employee one might perceive the psychopath to be helpful and even benevolent.

    2. Assessment – psychopaths will weigh one up according to one’s usefulness, and one could be recognised as either a pawn (who has some informal influence and will be easily manipulated) or a patron (who has formal power and will be used by the psychopath to protect against attacks)

    3. Manipulation – psychopath will create a scenario of “psychopathic fiction” where positive information about themselves and negative disinformation about others will be created, where one’s role as a part of a network of pawns or patrons will be utilised and will be groomed into accepting the psychopath’s agenda.

    4. Confrontation – the psychopath will use techniques of character assassination to maintain their agenda, and one will be either discarded as a pawn or used as a patron

    5. Ascension – one’s role as a patron in the psychopath’s quest for power will be discarded, and the psychopath will take for himself/herself a position of power and prestige from anyone who once supported them.

    Why psychopaths readily get hired

    Leading commentators on psychopathy have said that companies inadvertently attract employees who are psychopaths because of the wording of their job advertisements and their desire to engage people who are prepared to do whatever it takes to be successful in business. Corporate psychopaths are thus recruited into organisations because they make a distinctly positive impression on first meeting. They appear to be alert, friendly and easy to get along with and talk to. They look like they are of good ability, emotionally well adjusted and reasonable, and these traits make them attractive to those in charge of hiring staff within organisations. Other researchers confirm that psychopaths can present themselves as likeable and personally attractive. Companies often rely on interview performance alone and do not conduct other checks such as taking references. Being accomplished liars helps psychopaths obtain the jobs they want.

    Why psychopaths readily get promoted

    Corporate psychopaths within organizations may be singled out for rapid promotion because of their polish, charm, and cool decisiveness. They are also helped by their manipulative and bullying skills. They create confusion around them (divide and rule etc.) using instrumental bullying to promote their own agenda.

    Bad consequences

    Boddy identifies the following bad consequences of workplace psychopathy (with additional cites in some cases):

    • workplace bullying of employees

    • employees lose their jobs

    • legal liabilities

    • shareholders lose their investments

    • capitalism loses some of its credibility

    • wasted employee time

    • sub-optimal employee performance

    • increased workload

    • difficult working conditions

    • poor levels of job satisfaction

    • lower perceived levels of corporate social responsibility

    • raised staff turnover

    • absenteeism

    • heightened level of workplace conflict – arguments, yelling, rudeness, divide and conquer

    • counterproductive work behavior

    Counterproductive work behavior

    Boddy suggests that because of abusive supervision by corporate psychopaths, large amounts of anti-corporate feeling will be generated among the employees of the organisations that corporate psychopaths work in. This should result in high levels of counterproductive behaviour as employees give vent to their anger with the corporation, which they perceive to be acting through its corporate psychopathic managers in a way that is eminently unfair to them.

    Jail Not Bail for BankersCorporate psychopath theory of the global financial crisis

    Boddy makes the case that corporate psychopaths were instrumental in causing the 2007–08 global financial crisis. He claims that the same corporate psychopaths who probably caused the crisis by self-seeking greed and avarice are now advising the government on how to get out of the crisis.

    Psychologist Oliver James has described the credit crunch as a “mass outbreak of corporate psychopathy which resulted in something that very nearly crashed the whole world economy.”

    Screening

    From an organizational perspective, organizations can insulate themselves from the organizational psychopath by taking the following steps when recruiting:

    • conduct behavioural type interview

    • verify information contained in the curriculum vitae

    • conduct reference checks

    • obtain work samples

    • carry out criminal reference checks.

    The following tests could be used to screen psychopaths:

    • Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version (PCL:SV)

    • Psychopathy Measure – Management Research Version (PM-MRV)

    • Business-Scan (B-SCAN) test.

    There have been anecdotal reports that at least one UK bank was using a psychopathy measure to actively recruit psychopaths.

    Workplace bullying overlap

    Narcissism, lack of self-regulation, lack of remorse and lack of conscience have been identified as traits displayed by bullies. These traits are shared with psychopaths, indicating that there is some theoretical cross-over between bullies and psychopaths. Bullying is used by corporate psychopaths as a tactic to humiliate subordinates. Bullying is also used as a tactic to scare, confuse and disorient those who may be a threat to the activities of the corporate psychopath Using meta data analysis on hundred of UK research papers, Boddy concluded that 36% of bullying incidents was caused by the presence of corporate psychopaths. According to Boddy there are two types of bullying:

    • predatory bullying – the bully just enjoys bullying and tormenting vulnerable people for the sake of it

    • instrumental bullying – the bullying is for a purpose, helping the bully achieve his or her goals.

    A corporate psychopath uses instrumental bullying to further his goals of promotion and power as the result of causing confusion and divide and rule.

    People with high scores on a psychopathy rating scale are more likely to engage in bullying, crime and drug use than other people. Hare and Babiak noted that about 29 percent of corporate psychopaths are also bullies. Other research has also shown that people with high scores on a psychopathy rating scale were more likely to engage in bullying, again indicating that psychopaths tend to be bullies in the workplace.

    A workplace bully or abuser will often have issues with social functioning. These types of people often have psychopathic traits that are difficult to identify in the hiring and promotion process. These individuals often lack anger management skills and have a distorted sense of reality. Consequently, when confronted with the accusation of abuse, the abuser is not aware that any harm was done.

    Excerpt from “Psychopathy in Workplace” by Assignment Point

    Photos courtesy Chris Sheppard, CODEPINK

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  • GeneticPsychosMom (Tina) 10:21 on February 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , corporate crime, , , , , , fraud, , greed, , , , , , , , ,   

    Psychopathy and Corporate Crime 

    Psychopathic Personality Diagnostic Checklist

    Psychopathic Personality Diagnostic Checklist

    INTRODUCTION

    The relationship between psychopathy and violent street-level offenses has been well established.  However, psychopathic characteristics and behaviors have been normalized, tolerated, and even valued among corporate offenders. There is a paucity of research that explores the relationship between psychopathy and forms of elite deviance, and the connection between psychopathy and corporate crime warrants further academic attention.

    Psychopathy is characterized by glib/superficial charm, impression management, a grandiose sense of self-worth, pathological lying, conning/manipulativeness, lack of empathy, lack of guilt or remorse, shallow affect, and failure to accept responsibility. Impression management is indicated by efforts put forth by individuals in order to be viewed by others in a socially desirable or favorable manner. Grandiosity is typified by an excessive need for admiration, arrogance, sense of entitlement, envy, and exploitative tendencies towards others. Pathological lying is marked by a long history of frequent and repeated lying. Manipulativeness is characterized by charm, deceit, risk-taking, and carelessness about rules and conventions. Empathy has been defined as “the ability to detect accurately the emotional information being transmitted by another person”. Guilt “refers to the private feelings of a troubled conscience caused by a personal wrongdoing or by disadvantaging a valued other”. Although they are capable of concealing their emotional deficits, psychopaths are not capable of experiencing or appreciating everyday emotions, demonstrating a shallow affect. Psychopaths tend to rationalize and justify their behavior, often blaming others rather than accepting responsibility for their own actions.

    While there has been little research conducted on psychopathy and corporate offending, personality traits such as interpersonal competitiveness, positive extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism have emerged as principal personality correlates of white-collar offending. Interpersonal competitiveness is defined as extreme competition in which individuals are motivated to avoid loss and to defeat their rival counterparts. Positive extroversion is characterized by individuals who are talkative and spontaneous. In contrast, the disagreeable businessman is defined by characteristics such as bitterness, having condescending attitudes towards co-workers, and being easily angered or frustrated at unplanned circumstances and inconsistencies with order, rules, and corporate customs. Neuroticism is defined by traits such as anxiety, insecurity, sloppiness, and low self-esteem. While these traits explain corporate offending, other characteristics, such as those typical of psychopathy, can be extended to many of the traits and behaviors of elite criminals. As this thesis demonstrates, corporate behaviors illustrate several traits that are consistent with psychopathy.Monopoly. Big means you don't have to share

    CORPORATE CRIME

    In contrast to street level offenses, acts of elite deviance may fall beyond the scope of codified criminal law. Furthermore, many acts of elite deviance do not actually violate the law, but still have multiple adverse consequences for society. In fact, elite offenses cause significantly greater harm than street level offenses. For example, corporate and white-collar property crimes cause an estimated $404 billion in damages, while street level property damages are estimated to only cost $20 billion. Still, crimes committed by elites are rarely targeted under the current Crime Control Model.

    Elite deviance is characterized by illegal and/or unethical behavior, the maintenance or increase in profit and/or power for economic and political organizations, the open or covert assistance and support from elites who oversee such organizations, and the participation of elite and/or employees that work for people who are wealthy and/or powerful. Elite deviance encompasses a wide variety of behaviors, such as white-collar crime, corporate crime, corporate violence, occupational crime, governmental deviance, crimes of the state, crimes of privilege, profit without honor, and crimes by any other name.

    There has been a great deal of definitional ambiguity surrounding the conceptualization of white-collar and corporate crime.  A more recent definition describes white-collar crime as “illegal or unethical acts that violate fiduciary responsibility or public trust, committed by an individual or organization, usually during the course of legitimate occupational activities, by persons of high or respectable social status for personal or organizational gain”.

    Corporate crime has been defined as wrongdoing committed by corporate officials for the benefit of their corporation and offenses of the corporation itself. In addition to violations of the existing law, corporations may commit acts that, while legal, have many negative social consequences. For this reason, definitions of corporate crime should include any harmful actions caused by negligent, reckless, or intentional behaviors that are both lawful and illegal. Frank and Lynch (1992, p. 17) defined corporate crime as, “socially injurious and blameworthy acts, legal or illegal, that cause financial, physical, or environmental harm, committed by corporations and businesses against their workers, the general public, the environment, other corporations and businesses, the government, or other countries.”

    Examples of Corporate Wrongdoing

    In The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, Joel Bakan (2004) discusses several examples of corporate wrongdoing. For instance, American corporations such as Nike, The Gap, Kathy Lee Gifford’s clothing line, and Walmart, often exploit impoverished countries for cheap and easy labor. Twenty-two separate operations take place to produce one Nike shirt. Five steps involve cutting the material, 11 steps involve sewing, and six steps involve attaching labels, hang tags, and packaging. The estimated maximum time to manufacture one shirt was 6.6 minutes, which cost $0.08 in labor and sold for $22.99. Typical sweatshop conditions are harsh and inhumane. Aside from receiving very little pay, employees in these situations are often humiliated and abused. Young girls are forced to take pregnancy tests and are fired if the results are positive. These facilities are usually located in secret, guarded locations and surrounded by barbed wire. Further, employees are often housed in substandard living conditions by the corporations they work for.

    In 1938, President Franklin Roosevelt passed the Fair Labor Standards Act, which banned sweatshops, child labor, and industrial homework. However, the act is routinely violated by the garment industry and many sweatshops remain in operation both domestically and abroad. Only 33% of the garment industry is in compliance with the law. According to Charles Kernaghan, director of the National Labor Committee, sixty-five percent of clothing operations in New York City are sweatshops. Many sweatshops in the United States employ illegal immigrants.

    Monsanto does not have my consent to use my body as a science experimentMany state statutes label individuals with four convictions as “habitual criminals”. In his study, Sutherland (1949, 1983) used the records of court decisions and administrative commissions regarding 70 of the largest manufacturing, mining, and mercantile corporations in the United States. His analysis focused on violations such as restraint of trade, misrepresentation in advertising, infringement of patent, trademarks and copyrights, unfair labor practices, rebates, financial fraud and violation of trust, violations of war regulations, and other miscellaneous offenses. He found that a total of 980 decisions were made regarding the 70 corporations with an average of 14 decisions for each one.

    There are countless other examples of corporate wrongdoing. Robinson and Murphy (2009) discuss several different types of corporate violations, including fraud, deceptive advertising, defective products, and deadly products. Fraud is defined as a form of theft in which the consumer is deprived of their money or property through deceit, trickery, or lies. Fraud occurs across a wide array of industries in a variety of contexts, such as consumer fraud, insurance fraud, credit card and check fraud, cellular phone fraud, health care fraud, Medicare and Medicaid fraud, telemarketing fraud, securities and commodities fraud, and automotive fraud. Quackery is a form of fraud that advertises worthless medical products, such as drugs, devices, and nutritional products.

    Institutional Anomie Theory

    The cultural element of Institutional Anomie Theory is centered around the notion of the American Dream, which leads to pressure for economic success and anomie. The term anomie, coined by sociologist Émile Durkheim, refers to “a weakening of normative order in society”. The American Dream is defined as “a broad cultural ethos that entails a commitment to the goal of material success, to be pursued by everyone in society, under conditions of open, individual competition”. The American Dream socializes people to seek out economic success and to believe that their chances of achieving economic success are relatively high. This facilitates the ongoing pursuit of rarely-achieved aspirations and material gains. This focus on material success undermines the importance of noneconomic structures, such as those related to education, family, and politics. The universal acceptance and pursuit of the American Dream creates a number of obstacles for people since the reality is that the existing social structure creates economic inequality.

    The four basic value foundations of the American Dream are (1) achievement, (2) individualism, (3) universalism, and (4) materialism. Individual self-worth is often evaluated on the basis of achievement. American society emphasizes individualism, as Americans are deeply dedicated to individual autonomy and individual rights. Universalism is described as the universal acceptance of cultural goals and values, as virtually everyone is socialized to achieve and to evaluate themselves and others using this criteria for success. Materialism is a focus on monetary success and material accumulation. All of these factors function in a way that emphasizes material gain while diminishing the importance of legitimate means to attain economic success.

    These cultural values, the devaluation of noneconomic institutions, and the portrayal of economic institutions and economic success of utmost importance can contribute to the commission of both street and elite crimes. In the context of corporations, seeking the American Dream, and the values associated with it, can motivate individuals to increase their gains at any costs necessary.

    Maximization is defined as “the concomitant utilization of legitimate and illegitimate means to achieve the goals associated with the American Dream”. This form of behavior involves simultaneously obeying the law and violating the law. Maximizers simultaneously engage in both conformity and innovation, such that the boundaries between law-abiding behaviors and criminal behaviors become distorted or disregarded. This is especially likely to occur in corporate settings where there is added pressure to achieve financial success and immoral, harmful legitimate and illegitimate means are normalized. Maximizers view their actions as justifiable. Crime and deviance have become normal in corporations, and maximization is the primary way corporations have achieved greater wealth.

    Differential Association Theory

    The culture of competition within the subculture of organizations also creates criminogenic conditions in which illegal and amoral acts are incorporated into organizational norms. The competitive struggle for personal gain and advancement is viewed as a positive individual strength rather than as negative or selfish. Any social inequality is viewed as legitimate and fair. The poor are stigmatized and labeled incompetent and lazy, while the rich and successful are admired, creating a strong desire for success and a fear of failure.

    PSYCHOPATHY

    Psychopathy is fascinating because it is a form of antisocial behavior disguised by a veil of normalcy. Indeed, psychopaths are so proficient in their conning and manipulative qualities that they can easily gain the trust of those who surround them. Seemingly impervious to the common plights of other psychological disturbances, psychopaths are generally well-liked by others and perceived as well-meaning.

    Cleckley (1941) formed the foundation for the pathological condition we now know as psychopathy. His work identified several criteria including superficial charm, lack of anxiety, lack of guilt, undependability, dishonesty, egocentricity, failure to learn from punishment, poverty of emotions, and lack of insight into the impact of one‟s behavior on others.

    The PCL-R four-factor model of psychopathy identifies several personality characteristics. Among these are conning/manipulativeness, impression management, pathological lying, lack or remorse of guilt, callousness/lack of empathy, stimulation seeking, impulsivity, and criminal versatility. Personality can be defined as “the set of psychological traits and mechanisms within the individual that are organized and relatively enduring and that influence his or her interactions with, and adaptations to, the intrapsychic, physical, and social environments” (Larson & Buss, 2005, p. 4).

    Other personality traits relevant to corporate violence that are not identified by the PCL-R are also explored. Among these are desire for control and openness/intellect. Desire for control can be defined as an urge to exercise control over everyday life events. Openness/intellect, sometimes referred to as culture, imagination, or fluid intelligence, is illustrated by an openness to new experiences, intellectual ability, and creativity.

    Psychopathy and Street Crime

    Those with higher PCL-R scores received reduced sentences and were able to appeal the sentences of higher courts successfully. This demonstrates the ability of psychopaths to continue impression management and manipulative behaviors during the course of criminal proceedings, ultimately deceiving the criminal justice system.

    Such capabilities are certainly relevant to extending this analysis to the exploration of psychopathic corporate crime. Psychopathic features such as callousness, grandiosity, and manipulativeness, are relevant to making persuasive arguments and potentially harmful decisions, while features such as impulsivity, irresponsibility, and poor behavioral controls are relevant to poor decision making and performance.

    Psychopathy and Elite Crime

    Lack of Remorse or Guilt - A lack of feelings or concern for the losses, pain, and suffering of victimsBabiak, Neumann, and Hare (2010) explain that our limited knowledge about corporate psychopathy is largely due to the difficulty in obtaining the cooperation of business organizations. They were presented with a unique opportunity to explore psychopathy and its correlates in a sample (N=203) of corporate professionals from various companies.

    PCL-R scores were not significantly related to the level of management held by participants. However, the authors noted that of the nine participants who scored 25 or higher, two were vice presidents, two were directors, two were managers or supervisors, and one held some other type of managerial position. Performance appraisals and 360-degree assessments indicated that psychopathy was associated with strong communication skills, strategic thinking skills, creativity/innovation, poor management style, and not being perceived as team oriented.

    According to Bakan (2004), corporations were initially conceived as public institutions intended to serve national interests and advance public goods. They are creations of the state, which granted them rights such as legal personhood and limited liability, and are viewed as independent persons. Bakan also argues that corporations are psychopathic and interviewed Dr. Robert Hare, creator of the PCL-R, on the subject. Hare points out several psychopathic qualities of corporations, including irresponsibility, manipulativeness, lack of empathy, lack of guilt or remorse, and superficiality.

    Hare explains that corporations are often irresponsible since they attempt to satisfy their goals by putting others at risk. They attempt to manipulate public opinion and display grandiosity by their persistence in establishing their position as “number one” and “the best”. Lack of concern shown for those that they have harmed and could potentially harm demonstrates their lack of empathy. Lack of guilt or remorse is illustrated by the fact that corporations often continue to commit the same violations after being caught and paying fines that are often trivial in comparison to their profits. Hare also argues that corporations are superficial in their relations since they attempt to present themselves in a positive light to the public, which is not representative of what they are in reality. Similar to the way in which a human psychopath uses manipulation and charm to “mask” themselves as normal, corporations present themselves as socially responsible, compassionate, and concerned about others. However, in reality, and as displayed in their behaviors, they are not.

    Excerpted from “PSYCHOPATHY AND CORPORATE CRIME A Thesis by ANGELA DAWN PARDUE“, August 2011

    Images courtesy Christopher Dombres, William Murphy, Dr. Rex, CountyOfLiars.com

     

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