Organisational inhibitions to addressing occupational fraud: a theory of differential rationalisation

David William James Shepherd, Mark Button

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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This article examines organizational inhibitions in relation to addressing occupational fraud. The a priori assumption would be if an organization discovers occupational fraud it would deal with it. However, this research illustrates, drawing upon 24 semi-structured interviews, two case studies and participant observation, a range of avoidant rationalizations constructed by representatives of organizational victims to justify not tackling occupational fraud. These rationalizations bear great similarity to the rationalizations constructed by offenders, and the article argues they constitute a theory of differential rationalization. The research may have wider relevance to explaining why organizations fail to deal with other negative behaviors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0
Pages (from-to)971-991
Number of pages21
JournalDeviant Behaviour
Issue number8
Early online date3 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • occupational fraud
  • rationalisation
  • neutralisation
  • prevention
  • culture


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