Rule-violating behaviour in white-collar offenders: A control group comparison

J.H.R. van Onna, V.R. van der Geest, A.J.M. Denkers

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study aims at enhancing our understanding of criminogenic individual-level factors in white-collar crime, that is, fraudulent acts carried out in an occupational capacity or setting. We do so by examining consistency of rule-violating behaviour across different settings outside the occupational context in a sample of white-collar offenders (n = 637) and comparing it with a matched control group (n = 1809), controlling for socio-demographic, crime and organizational characteristics. Results show that white-collar offenders, including those holding high-trust organizational positions, engaged in regulatory income tax violations and regulatory traffic violations at significantly higher levels than did controls. This study concludes that individual characteristics are likely to underlie the identified cross-contextual consistency in rule-violating behaviour and debates the relevance of the findings for white-collar crime in organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-351
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Criminology
Issue number3
Early online date18 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


  • control group
  • high-trust position
  • individual differences
  • rule violation
  • white-collar offenders


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