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Losing Dough in Bakeries

NCJ Number
Security Management Volume: 32 Issue: 3 Dated: (March 1988) Pages: 86,88,89
P B Barr; P W Balsmeier
Date Published
3 pages
Employee theft is escalating not only in the number of persons involved per year but also in the amount of money involved.
In general, research on employee theft has focused on three factors: the extent of theft and type of workers engaged in it, employees' attitudes and perceptions that affect theft behavior, and how specific work settings influence theft activities. Three social-psychological causal factors can be used to explain theft behavior: certain types of individuals are more inclined to steal than others; persons with certain problems, such as financial needs, are more likely to commit acts of theft; and job situations, such as inequity and job dissatisfaction, can cause individuals to engage in employee theft. The work group is believed to influence theft behavior by providing support and rationalizations for theft. Management actions can also encourage theft behavior. Survey questionnaires were mailed to 635 bakeries throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada to solicit information on the physical characteristics of the responding firms and the levels of employee theft activity. Factors that might distort or affect levels of employee theft activity were categorized into questions on demographic data, managerial practices, and managerial policies. Among the results was an extremely strong statistical relationship between the number of salespersons employed by a firm and the level of employee theft. 1 exhibit.


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