An offender's perspective of what motivates and deters white-collar criminals in the South African workplace

11 May 2015

The aim of this study was to investigate the motives of white-collar criminals so as to gain a better understanding of white-collar crime and develop measures that can help to reduce it. The study involved face-to-face interviews with white-collar offenders imprisoned at a correctional centre in South Africa. The data collected provided evidence to support the existing theory relating to the motives for whitecollar crime; however, a previously unreported theme of race emerged as a key motivator among the respondents. Race was further identified as a key justification for committing the crime. Suggestions from the respondents to employment relations practitioners on how best to mitigate the risks were also collected and reported. The deterrents that were identified as most effective by the respondents revolved around four themes, namely reports and signing authority, working environment, education and matching roles and responsibilities.