Knowledge Management in Private Investigations of White-Collar Crime

Knowledge Management in Private Investigations of White-Collar Crime

Petter Gottschalk (BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo, Norway)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/IRMJ.2016010101


The activity of private investigations by fraud examiners is a business of lawyers, auditors and other professionals who investigate suspicions of financial crime by white-collar criminals. Private investigations represent an interesting and unique field of knowledge management research for several reasons. A possible white-collar crime has occurred, and examiners are to figure out what, how, who and why. It is a puzzle of information pieces that has to be solved. If one piece is missing in a puzzle of thousands of pieces, the crime will never be solved. Second, knowledge cannot be shared freely. Knowledge has to be applied in a sequence of investigative steps, where witnesses and suspects are involved to the extent that the investigation makes progress. Colleagues in the firm and executives in the client organization do only get to know about a current investigation to the extent that they have a role to play in it. A senior investigating person plays the role of a knowledge manager, who monitors information flows. Only when the private investigation is completed, is knowledge from the case to be shared in the broader field of stakeholders and spectators.
Article Preview

White-Collar Criminals

A white-collar criminal is typically a member of the privileged socioeconomic class in society (Sutherland, 1940, 1949), who behaves illegally (Hansen, 2009) in non-violent acts committed for financial gain (Brightman, 2009; Bucy et al., 2009). The criminal is a person of respectability (Gottschalk, 2015b), who commits crime in a professional setting, where criminal activities are concealed and disguised in organizational work (Benson and Simpson, 2009; Bookman, 2009) by law-abiding behavior (Abadinsky, 2007). The criminal has power and influence (Kempa, 2010; Podgor, 2009), and enjoys trust from others in privileged networks (Pickett and Pickett, 2002).

Furthermore, the criminal is usually independent and irresponsible, dishonest and antisocial (Collins and Schmidt, 1993; Listwan et al., 2010), and lacks integrity and social conscience (Price and Norris, 2009). The offender is likely to exhibit narcissistic behavior (McKay et al., 2010; Ouimet, 2009, 2010) and psychopathic traits (Ragatz et al., 2012). The criminal belongs to the elite, is often wealthy and is higher educated (Heath, 2008). The criminal may be subject to strain (Langton and Piquero, 2007; Piquero et al., 2010) and have low self-control (Gottfredsson and Hirschi, 1990). The offender has legitimate access to the location in which the crime is committed, and the offender’s actions have a superficial appearance of legitimacy (Benson and Simpson, 2009).

Complete Article List

Search this Journal:
Open Access Articles: Forthcoming
Volume 32: 4 Issues (2019): Forthcoming, Available for Pre-Order
Volume 31: 4 Issues (2018)
Volume 30: 4 Issues (2017)
Volume 29: 4 Issues (2016)
Volume 28: 4 Issues (2015)
Volume 27: 4 Issues (2014)
Volume 26: 4 Issues (2013)
Volume 25: 4 Issues (2012)
Volume 24: 4 Issues (2011)
Volume 23: 4 Issues (2010)
Volume 22: 4 Issues (2009)
Volume 21: 4 Issues (2008)
Volume 20: 4 Issues (2007)
Volume 19: 4 Issues (2006)
Volume 18: 4 Issues (2005)
Volume 17: 4 Issues (2004)
Volume 16: 4 Issues (2003)
Volume 15: 4 Issues (2002)
Volume 14: 4 Issues (2001)
Volume 13: 4 Issues (2000)
Volume 12: 4 Issues (1999)
Volume 11: 4 Issues (1998)
Volume 10: 4 Issues (1997)
Volume 9: 4 Issues (1996)
Volume 8: 4 Issues (1995)
Volume 7: 4 Issues (1994)
Volume 6: 4 Issues (1993)
Volume 5: 4 Issues (1992)
Volume 4: 4 Issues (1991)
Volume 3: 4 Issues (1990)
Volume 2: 4 Issues (1989)
Volume 1: 1 Issue (1988)
View Complete Journal Contents Listing