Document Type

Chapter of Book

Publication Date



Because of their leverage over employees, corporate managers are prime targets for incentives to control corporate crime, even when managers do not themselves commit crimes. Moreover, the collective actions of corporate management — producing what is sometimes referred to as corporate culture — can be the cause of corporate crime, not just a locus of the failure to control it. Because civil liability and private compensation arrangements have limited effects on management behavior — and because the problem is, after all, crime — criminal law is often expected to intervene. This handbook chapter offers a functional explanation for corporate criminal liability: individual criminal liability cannot effectively address the relationship between senior managers and corporate crime but corporate criminal liability can, at least in part. Thus the practice of corporate criminal liability has grown and will continue to do so, at least in the absence of major restructuring of criminal law.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Corporation law--Criminal provisions, Corporations--Corrupt practices, Corporate governance, Sanctions (Law), Liability (Law)