Corporate Misconduct: The Legal, Societal, and Management Issues

By Margaret P. Spencer; Ronald R. Sims | Go to book overview

have taken all reasonable steps to respond appropriately to the offense and to prevent further similar offenses -- including any necessary modifications to its program to prevent and detect violations of the law."50 A corporation cannot rest after its initial effort; it must consider appropriate changes to the program if a violation occurs and if the law should change.

The issues surrounding corporate criminal liability are complex and rapidly evolving. The stakes are high and the potential for a mistake is great even when a corporation acts with the best intentions. Prudence requires that a corporation seeking to avoid the devastating consequences of a criminal prosecution of the company or its employees obtain competent advice from experienced counsel before a problem arises.

Despite the hostility with which some view codes of conduct these codes have become a permanent part of the corporate landscape. In the abstract, it is difficult to object to the adoption of a corporate code.

Thus, the positive factors, when combined with the legal incentives, should compel every corporation to implement an effective code of conduct. Considering these advantages, a corporation can no more afford to operate without an effective corporate code of conduct than it can afford to operate without liability insurance. Only extremely careless or foolish executives will fail to implement and enforce a compliance program and risk losing the significant advantages of such programs.


NOTES
1.
Harvey L. Pitt and Karl A. Groskaufmanis, "Minimizing Corporate Civil and Criminal Liability: A Second Look at Corporate Codes of Conduct," Georgetown Law Journal 78 ( 1990): 1559.
2.
Dan K. Webb and Steven F. Molo, "Some Practical Considerations in Developing Effective Compliance Programs: A Framework for Meeting the Requirements of the Sentencing Guidelines," Washington University Law Quarterly 71 ( 1993): 375.
3.
Michele Galen, "Keeping the Long Arm of the Law at Arm's Length," Business Week, April 22, 1991, p. 104.
4.
Webb and Molo, "Some Practical Considerations," p. 375.
5.
Business Roundtable, Business Roundtable, Corporate Ethics: A Prime Business Asset ( New York: Business Roundtable, 1988), p. 178; see Gerry Spence, With Justice for None ( New York: Penguin, 1989), p. 285.
6.
David K. Webb, Steven F. Molo and James Hurst, Understanding and Avoiding Corporate and Executive Criminal Liability ( New York: Times Books, 1993), p. 246.
7.
Webb and Molo, "Some Practical Considerations," p. 375.

-179-

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Corporate Misconduct: The Legal, Societal, and Management Issues
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1 - Understanding Corporate Misconduct: an Overview and Discussion 1
  • Notes 20
  • 2 - A Look at Corporate Crime 23
  • Notes 38
  • 3 - Corporate Criminal Liability 41
  • Notes 53
  • 4 - Corporate Sentencing Guidelines 57
  • Notes 69
  • 5 - The Regulator's Perspective on Corporate Fraud 71
  • Notes 93
  • 6 - Corporate Fraud and the Investor 95
  • Notes 107
  • 7 - Corporate Fraud: the Employee's Perspective 109
  • Notes 122
  • 8 - Hacking, Computer Viruses, and Software Piracy: the Implications of Modern Computer Fraud for Corporations 125
  • Notes 146
  • 9 - Corporate Fraud in Marketing: Business Practices and Advertising Content 149
  • Notes 161
  • 10 - Corporate Codes of Conduct 165
  • Notes 179
  • 11 - Countering Corporate Misconduct: the Role of Human Resource Management 183
  • Notes 207
  • Index 209
  • About the Contributors 213
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