Why Theft Occurs Within Modern Environments And Situations

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To understand why theft occurs in modern environments and situations, exploring ideas and theories that link this behavior to fundamental aspects of human nature can provide some compelling answers. Though the Enron scandal stands as a representation of corporate theft, it serves as an example for how the different influences surrounding this behavior can be identified and analyzed. By focusing on individual actors and the overall company culture it will become possible to see the motivations and influences that led to the committing of theft and other related crimes (fraud, embezzlement, and insider-trading) at such a high level. Before diving right into some examples, a general discussion of theories explaining theft would be best in order to prime the later examples as enactments of these theories. Theft can be defined as the taking of someone else’s property through illicit means (Kanazawa, 2007). In this case, the property was money (though abstractly, time and trust could also apply) and the illicit mean was a complex web of corporate fraud. A reason explaining why this illegal activity occurred resides with one major feature shared by those involved: they were mostly male. The majority held by males in this domain can be explained with the theory that men steal for their own material needs and to compete with other men and gain status (Kanazawa, 2007). This need for materials and status results from the sexual selection process, which suggests that females tend to mate with males who are perceived as able to support her and her offspring (Ghiglieri, 1999). Though this direct relationship may not be an apparent source of motivation in modern settings, it has affected the evolution of certain traits. Viewing personality as ... ... middle of paper ... ... a group of impulsive gamblers got cash and were placed into a casino with the sole purpose of making money anyway they could; that would result in the shady and fraudulent practices that bled through all levels of the company. Ultimately, the events that transpired at Enron were a result of rather normal people taking action in a rather special environment. There was a biological drive for certain traits, especially in regards to sexual reproduction, but these mixed in with the particular environment influences to create a culture of greed. Though the word greed captures the excesses well, Enron demonstrates the fundamental need to survive by any means necessary, with the end goal to remain standing when the dust settles. Unfortunately, it was doomed from the beginning because it was standing on quicksand and those who knew managed to escape on the backs of others.

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