In spite of the widespread incidence of business or corporate misconduct very little is known about it. Within the literature on corporate illegality the predominant view is that pressure and need force corporations to commit such misconduct as fraud and develop the corresponding rationalizations; however, according to recent research this explanation only accounts for illegal acts in some cases. A closer look at the literature shows that most of the books on corporate misconduct ignore these findings and the complexity of corporate misconduct. In addition, the books that do exist in this area typically focus on a specific type of corporate misconduct (for example, case studies of criminal misconduct by banks or a sociological perspective on corporate fraud issues). These and similar books present business crime as a distinctive social phenomenon and review the evidence of various kinds of business crime through the intellectual discipline of sociology. Other works focus on corporate misconduct in Great Britain or provide a more general discussion of corporate misconduct (for example, fraudulent conduct within the auto, oil, and defense industries; corporate conduct that results in injury or death to employees and consumers; and corporate bribery).
Books about corporate misconduct recognize that businesses have always been associated with various types of lying, cheating, or stealing.