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Personality Trait and Fraudulent Behaviour Dissertation


Social scientists engaging in the study of human behaviour fail to establish a stronger correlation that is well-defined and understood between psychological features and individual behaviours that are likely to be employed effectively in analyzing the fraudulent tendency of perpetrators. Many people in the business and corporate world are known to be law-abiding, but researchers, both in the field of psychology and finance, ask themselves several questions regarding what went on in the early 1990s to 2000s. This is because fraud was the order of the day among senior managers and those charged with the role of policy formulation in big organizations (Hartog & Belschak 2012, p. 35).

This irrational enthusiasm was mainly attributed to greed and dishonesty, but current studies suggest otherwise because the personality of an individual determines his or her corporate behaviour. In fact, people in the corporate world rarely resort to fraud and misappropriation of public funds to attain their selfish interests. Criminologists offer three explanations as regards the fraudulent behaviour, one of them being a supply of motivated offenders. Again, white-collar crimes take place because the suitable targets are available while others are likely to happen once the capable guardians are missing. The explanation is in line with the idea white-collar crime is often committed by choice, meaning available opportunities and motivation determines the type of crime that an individual is likely to commit.

Therefore, crime, irrespective of the type, is largely influenced by the environment in the sense that an individual dealing with money is tempted to divert it to other channels. White-collar criminals feel that they have access to the means that would allow them to steal without being noticed. The rate of professional crime varies directly with the supply of illegal opportunities, as well as the supply of people and organizations vulnerable or motivated to utilize them whereas the rate and occurrence of the offence vary inversely with the strength and strictness of rule of enforcement.

The studies on crime, especially the white-collar offences, show that variations of business cycles and cultures related to crime, which are often in conflict with the social, moral, and officially permitted norms of behaviour, have strong correlations with the soaring rates of professional crime. For instance, whenever there is a feeling that everyone is getting rich in the society, professionals in various organizations tend to believe that leaving any opportunity is a great mistake hence they always explore the avenues to defraud the organization.

Again, the underperformance of huge conglomerates and well-established organizations, such as Enron, Nortel, and Cisco encourages individuals to engage in illegitimate earnings and misdeeds that led to fraud and other white-collar crimes. As individuals strive to achieve their desired interests, they end up interfering with their personality and careers by being dishonest. Senior managers in the best-performing companies are influenced to lie, cheat, and steal with the aim of maintaining their image and meeting the expectations of the financial analysts, as they try to keep their jobs. This means that an individual’s desire to preserve his or her image leads to fraud. It is noted that certain cultures, countries, and languages are supportive of fraud because they permit it to thrive in different stripes, shapes, and forms.

Based on this, it is critical for the psychologist to revisit the ideas of economists, anthropologists, and sociologists to understand the issue of white-collar crime. Sociologists, as well as criminologists, are of the view that fraudulent behaviour is a result of trust violation because individuals who are likely to commit white-collar crime are rarely suspected of being offenders.

Senior managers are usually convinced that they have special types of financial problems that should not be shared with any other person, something that forces them to take part in serious misappropriations (Henle 2005, p. 247). When these managers are caught stealing, they cannot admit instead preferring to defend themselves, as they view themselves as too special to commit a crime. Studies show that trust violators and those perpetrators of fraud justify their actions to themselves and others simply as a psychological coping mechanism given the fact they struggle to deal with the unavoidable cognitive dissension. This means that their perception of honesty and their real actions are inconsistent.

In trying to understand fraud, a fraud triangle concept is often employed, something the detective’s term as the means, motives, and opportunities that pave the way for crime. The triangle has three major elements, including the perceived incentives or motivation, the available opportunities, and the tendency to rationalize the fraudulent behaviour upon its occurrence. The fraud psychology of the perpetrator influences the three elements: individual motivation and the pressure to be successful control of human behaviour. The individual would rarely sit back and see things unfold, but instead, he or she will try the best to justify the behaviour.

The personal behavioural calculus influences the assessment of the opportunity. Therefore, fraud cannot be understood without seeking psychological explanations meaning the logical answers are not enough. Criminals engaging in white-collar theft need excuses just as other criminals. The triangle suggests that a need should first exit on the side of the offender. The criminal would then explore the existing opportunity to commit the act. However, fraud does not happen when opportunities are non-existent—finally, the white-collar criminal attempts to justify or rationalize the act.

The individual tends to believe that people are getting rich and he or she is lagging back hence the only way of catching up very fast is through fraud (Johnson, Kuhn, Apostolou & Hassell 2013, p. 206). For some, the reason that their action is temporary because it amounts to borrowing and the money will be retuned at some point. Others are of the view that they deserve the benefits because of their contributions and once the opportunity presents, the company should afford it. Fraud is perceived as a victimless crime because it does not hurt anyone. Finally, this type of crime is never viewed as being serious because it only involves money and not the lives of other people.

White-collar crimes emanate from a culture that develops in most organizations. Given that white-collar crime is unethical behaviour, organizations are struggling to eliminate it by instilling ethical culture. An ethical culture is the foundation of good corporate governance and arguably the most powerful control in any organization.” When an organization does not nurture ethical culture, white-collar crimes emerge.

In a bid to establish behavioural characteristics that individuals possess in an organization, individuals have behaviours that cumulatively contribute to the organizational culture. White-collar criminals have behavioural elements that compel them to commit crimes. Immorality, arrogance, deception, cleverness, creativity, and poor management are some of the behavioural elements that contribute to organizational culture that is tolerant of aberrant behaviours that promote white-collar crimes. The management members of organizations that collapsed due to white-collar crimes had some of these behavioural elements (Marshall, Baden & Guidi 2013, p. 559).

Over the years, scholars have formulated and applied various theories of organizational culture in elucidating how white-collar crimes occur. The studies that apply theories of organizational culture hold that culture has a significant influence on human behaviour because it causes employees to commit white-collar crimes. The presence of “criminogenic” culture in an organization leads to the development of unethical behaviours among employees, which consequently leads to the emergence of white-collar crimes.

The application of theories in describing the occurrence of white-collar crimes fails to explain how subordinates acquire cultural values from their superiors. In this view, social learning theory fills the gaps in elucidating how “criminogenic” culture makes employees to commit white-collar crimes because it applies the principles of operant conditioning and association-reinforcement. Subordinates acquire “criminogenic” values from their superiors because the “criminogenic” behaviours flow through the management system (Martin, Rao & Sloan 2009, p. 40).

The differential social association theory is one of the theories that view white-collar crime as an organized form of crime due to social organization. Three concepts of the differential association theory, namely, differential group association, normative conflict, and differential association in contextualizing white-collar crimes in the society are often applied. The concept of differential social organization conceives that the occurrence of white-collar crimes is dependent on cultural values and vices, which oppose and support white-collar crimes respectively.

The trade-off between values and vices ultimately determines the prevalence of white-collar crimes in most organizations. Since the society has the capacity to influence human culture and behaviour, the concept of normative conflict views society as a significant factor that contributes to the occurrence of white-collar crimes. Differential association is a third concept that focuses on the knowledge and skills that are necessary for one to conduct fraudulent activities. In applying the theory of differential association, gaps in the understanding of organizational culture exist, as theories do not account for the organizational variation in the occurrence of white-collar crimes (Perri 2011, p. 217).

Although the fraud triangle is sufficient in explaining the criminogenic behaviours, it fails to capture other important aspects that make people engage in criminal activities, such as the basic ravenousness and covetousness, the retribution intention whereby an individual makes the organization pay for the mistakes committed to him or her, and the ‘catch me if you can’ attitude. Sometimes, organizational inertia, failure to act on information that might prevent fraud, turning a blind eye on white-collar offenses, and poor handling of crime prosecution are additional factors that allow this form of crime to flourish. Analysts suggest that prevention of crime entails developing strategies that deal with the act vehemently.

For instance, suspected fraudsters should be aware that the organization is constantly watching them. Once it happens, fraud and other forms of white-collar crime is difficult to prosecute given the fact the perpetrators are highly connected. Fraudsters are careful in handling their activities to an extent that any evidence to prosecute is likely to miss. Criminologists are concerned with the issue of fraud because of the existence of differentials of power and influence and the massive inequalities in capital, power, social position, and individual reputation. Social scientists attempt to sort people based on various distinguishing features, as well as behaviour dispositions. Two major categories exist, one of them being the greater good oriented.

This category does everything for the best of the company and is always honest (Shafer & Simmons 2008, p. 700). On the other hand, the scheming or self-cantered type entail individuals who are never concerned with truth instead they work hard to realize their personal objectives at the expense of the organization. Using an inductive approach, the study found that the bank’s managers lacked moral values, which is characteristic of a psychopath. The article establishes that the “ruthless, selfish, and conscious-free” attitude of corporate psychopaths makes them morally unaccountable and thus, a fraud risk. In addition, psychopathic behaviour is more common in individualistic societies than collectivist ones

Fraud and white-collar crimes are common forms of crimes that people commit in various aspects and positions in the corporate world. Fraud and white-collar crimes have similar meaning as they refer to the non-violent crimes that people commit with the basic objective of gaining money using illegal means. The cases of fraud and white-collar crimes have been increasing exponentially in the 21st century due to the advent of technology because fraudsters apply technological tools in cheating, swindling, embezzling, and defrauding people or organizations.

Fraud and white-collar crime is a complex issue in society because its occurrence is dependent on many factors such as organizational structure, organization culture, and personality traits. The elites who commit white collar-crimes usually exploit weaknesses in organizational structure and formulate rules and regulations that favour their crimes. Since not everyone can commit white-collar crimes, there is ample evidence to prove that white-collar crimes relate to certain personalities. A cross-sectional research was conducted to study the personality attributes that influence people to commit white-collar crimes using Social Desirability scale, hedonism scale, narcissism scale, conscientiousness scale, and behavioural self-control scale. Since prior studies have used one scale in determining personality correlates of white-collar crimes, the study sought to fill the reliability and validity gap by using numerous scales in one questionnaire.

In the cross-sectional study, it was discovered that high conscientiousness; high narcissism, low behavioural self-control, high hedonism, and low integrity are personality attributes that predispose people to commit white-collar crimes in most organizations (Stevens, Deuling, &Armenaki, 2012, p. 105). A white-collar crime is partly a personality issue in most organizations. Hence, personality traits are important in studying white-collar crimes. The corporate psychopaths would even commit outright fraud on the company that employs them.

Positive extroverts, agreeable businesspersons, and neurotic persons are likely to commit white-collar crimes. Likewise, individuals with psychopathic traits exhibit traits of white-collar criminals such as narcissism, egoism, anger, self-centeredness, hostility, disagreeableness, competitiveness, and manipulative amongst others. Psychopathic individuals are likely to deceive, con, manipulate, and charm people. Hence, it implies that psychopath influences the personality traits and makes one to commit white-collar crimes.

A number of theories, as well as the findings of several psychologists suggest that age, an individual experience in the organization, organizational culture, gender, and psychological traits, such as Machiavellianism, psychopath, and narcissism, influence an individual’s behaviour as far as commission of fraud is concerned. Therefore, an hypothesis suggesting that dark triad personality, together with other variables, such as gender, age, experience in the organization, and culture, play a critical role in influencing an individual towards committing fraud and other white-collar crimes.


In an attempt to establish a link between fraud and the personality traits of individuals, one should first try to ask him or herself the question regarding the motivation behind fraud. This would allow the assessment of risks in any organization, as well as helping the owners of capital in executing appropriate measures that would prevent losses and subsequent collapse. When an employee seeks employment with any company, the desire to engage in fraud is always minimal, but the studies show that an employee is likely to seize the opportunity to commit fraud, especially when he or she is pressed by a certain need.

Psychological analysis shows that greed is one of the factors that interfere with the performance of a good employee. Unfortunately, not all greedy people are likely to lie or cheat to get what they want. Even though a number of employees are deviant in many organizations, only a small percentage, less than a third, engages in fraud whereby they steal organizational resources to benefit themselves. The findings of this study suggest that the main reason why employees engage in fraud is the motivation, but not the existence of opportunities meaning that the problem could be explained purely on psychological terms.

This implies the environment plays a minimal role in influencing people to misappropriate company resources. In other words, dissatisfied employees are likely to engage in white-collar crime because they view the act as wages in kind. Once an individual feels that he or she is not being compensated adequately, chances are high that he or she will engage in fraud in order to meet the financial challenges he or she faces. However, fraud does not happen in isolation because it entails a combination of motive and opportunity, which means the first step towards prevention of white-collar crime, is establishment of internal controls whereby sufficient checks and balances should be set up (Van-Aswegen &Engelbrecht 2009, p. 221).

Discussion of the Research Questions

The fraud/white-collar criminal is most likely to be between the ages of 35-55, and have >10 years work experience; these experienced employees will have sufficient knowledge to circumvent the controls and would even break the law to attain higher achievements. Therefore, those aged <35 will show lower levels of Machiavellianism, Narcissism and Psychopath compared to those aged 35-55, an indication that these traits are nurtured

While age has always been a factor to consider in identifying the criminal behaviour of an individual, this study never established any significant relationship between age and the psychological disorders of Machiavellianism, psychopath, and narcissism. Additionally, a comparison of the behaviour of individuals aged thirty-five and below and those aged above thirty-five do not suggest any interlink between age and fraud implying that this type of crime is special and is likely to be committed by individuals with defective personalities, irrespective of their age. In other words, other psychological, as well as social factors influence an individual’s behaviour towards engaging in fraud and white-collar crime.

Even though a number of studies establish a statistical significance between an individual’s experience in the organization and the possibility of committing crime, this study failed to replicate such studies. On the other hand, the occupation of an employee plays a greater role in influencing him or her to commit a white-collar crime because the findings of the study found out that the standard deviations were moderate meaning a relationship exists. Statistical significance was not found with regard to Psychopathy, F (7, 242) = 1.833, p =.082, while significance was indicated with respect to Machiavellianism, F(7, 242) = 3.887, p<.001, as well as Narcissism, F(7, 242) = 2.574, p =.014.

These results indicate that significant mean differences exist with respect to both Machiavellianism and Narcissism based on occupation. on the basis of age group (& occupation). As shown, moderate mean differences were generally indicated. statistical significance was indicated in the analysis conducted with Psychopathy on the 30-34-year-old age group, the analysis conducted with Machiavellianism on the 40-44-year-old age group, as well as the analysis conducted with Narcissism and Psychopathy conducted on individuals above 65 years of age. Finally, statistical significance was indicated in cases of Machiavellianism (45-49 and 50-54) and Narcissism (60-64)

The rank of the employee in the organization has a role to play as far as fraud is concerned because the higher the position the higher the chances of the employee committing a crime. In particular, those with access to company’s sensitive information are in a position to override controls hence are perpetrators of white-collar crimes. Again, the results of the study suggest that the department influences the behaviour as far as commission of crime is concerned. Those working in the finance department are vulnerable because they have access to the corporate assets apart from being in charge of financial reporting and credit lines. The department is more tempting as compared to others, which do not have direct access to finances.

The position of the chief executive (CEO) is the second tempting followed by the sales and operations departments. Individuals working in the legal department are less vulnerable to white-collar crime because they understand the legal provisions and they are mostly guided by ethical code of conduct. Long-term employees commit white-collar crimes as compared to short-term workers because they tend to believe they cannot be investigated having worked for the employer for over five years. Individuals who join the company are not usually focused on committing the crime, but certain changes influence them to engage in immoral behaviours (Wakefield 2008, p. 114)

The findings further suggest that the regional culture plays a critical role in imparting values and principles to individuals because some regions, such as Asia and America are prone to fraud while Central and Eastern Europe and Africa are better off. For instance, workers in Central and Eastern Europe rarely engage fraud because of the strong corporate culture that condemns all forms of white-collar crime, including fraud. In fact, a number of global organizations originating from the region rarely find themselves in financial scandals as compared to those from West Europe, Asia, and America.

In this regard, the multinational companies hire European citizens to take up key positions, such as those of chief executive and financial bosses with an aim of reducing fraud cases. Managers from Central and Eastern Europe are known to be whistleblowers and initiators of investigations. Unfortunately, managers in the region collude with third-party clients to defraud companies, but the cases are usually reported in the sales and procurement departments meaning the company does not lose many resources. In the United States, men head many companies and this explains why fraud is prevalent. Just as Central and Eastern Europe, fraudsters collude with outsiders to channel resources to ghost projects, which amount to serious crime (Watt 2012, p. 113).

Frauds are not committed at the spur of the moment; the fraudulent activity is usually not detected for about 18 months, those aged 35-55 will also display high levels of positive personality traits of Diligence, Integrity, and Self-Control compared to those aged <35

The study established that age-related differences in the mean levels of diligence, integrity, and self-control. Exist, but only very slight mean differences were indicated in these measures based on respondent age category. Standard deviations were found to be relatively low in relation to these mean scores, with the ranges presented generally found to be more restricted as compared to the descriptive statistics presented earlier.

In the previous one-way ANOVAs, individuals between the age of 35 and 55 were compared with those younger than 35 and those older than 55. Unfortunately, statistical significance was not indicated with respect to Diligence, F (2, 247) = 2.322, p =.100, Integrity, F (2, 247) = 1.339, p =.264, or Self-Control, F (2, 247) = 1.604, p =.203. The results of these analyses indicate that significant mean differences in these three outcomes do not exist because of respondent age category. Differences in these measures based on age category, comparing those aged 35-55 with younger respondents established that mean differences in these measures on the basis of age category were found to be very slight, with standard deviations found to be relatively small in relation to these mean values.

Statistical significance was not found in any case indicating that significant mean differences in these measures were not present based on age category. Again, mean differences were found to be minor, with standard deviations found to be relatively low in relation to these mean values. statistical significance was not found in relation to integrity, while this was indicated with respect to diligence and self-control. Specifically, the results of these analyses indicated that individuals with less than 10 years of work experience had significantly higher scores on diligence as well as self-control

The study also establishes that narcissistic behaviours vary from one culture to another. An institutional theory is used in this study to assess financial misreporting among CEOs. Financial misreporting depends on the nature of the leadership and the CEOs ethical behaviour. Corporate psychopaths often work their way up to senior managerial positions within organisations (Chen 2010, p. 33). This article adduces empirical evidence for the psychopaths’ preference for senior corporate positions, as well as how their conscience-free attitude predisposes them to financial impropriety. Machiavellians are often deceitful and manipulative and thus, rank among the top tax evaders.

The study is based on a survey of tax collectors in Hong Kong. The findings indicate that Machiavellianism influence the attitudes of tax collectors towards tax minimisation. Machiavellians also place less value CSR because they believe that the central goal of any business is to maximise its profits. White-collar crime is attributed to various personality traits. This particular article examines the personality traits that cause different forms of crime, including financial fraud. The financial crisis of the last decade amounted to an economic crime. Unethical financial choices made by key corporate leaders caused the financial downturn.

Unlike other ‘dark triad’ personalities, psychopaths value prestige and money, which hamper their performance and lowers a firm’s CSR activity. Based on empirical evidence, the article establishes that corporate psychopaths prefer to work at banking institutions and the civil service as opposed to retail or manufacturing industries. They prefer these occupations because of the financial rewards and prestige associated with such industries

Those aged <35 however are more likely to have lower levels of Integrity but higher levels of Risk Taking compared to those aged 35-55, thus making them more susceptible to developing the deviant traits.

A one-way analysis of variance was conducted in order to determine whether significant mean differences in Risk-Taking exist based on age category. The findings of the study suggest that mean differences based on age category were found to be very slight, with standard deviations found to be relatively low in relation to these mean values. The one-way analysis of variance itself also failed to achieve statistical significance, F(2, 247) =.344, p =.710.

This result indicates that there was no significant mean difference in Risk-Taking on the basis of age category based on this analysis. In order to explore whether there was any association between age category and Risk-Taking. First, the following table summarizes the descriptive statistics associated with this analysis. As shown, only a very slight difference in Risk-Taking means values were present because of age category. Additionally, standard deviations were found to be low in relation to these mean values. The independent-samples t-test conducted did not achieve statistical significance, indicating no significant mean difference in Risk-Taking based on age category

An individual employing Machiavelli’s ideas is said to have antisocial personality trait and this behavior is dangerous in the sense that it can easily harm others. The individual with this type of personality is always charming and has the power to persuade others to follow his or her ideas. Unfortunately, such individuals are arrogant and do not value the contributions others. Again, an individual with antisocial personality or Machiavellianism has very little guilt and is likely to lie, steal, blame others, and deceive. People with an antisocial personality are in support of selfish and aggressive approach to life.

For instance, they have a view that the world is equivalent to a jungle whereby survival is for the fittest and only the strongest have the chances of survival. Machiavellianism makes an individual to lose concern for themselves and others making them careless to an extent that they do not consider the consequences of their actions. The antisocial personality stems from an individual’s poor conduct during childhood. The individual lacks self-control to an extent of being impulsive whereby he or she does things without giving them a second thought. It is evident therefore that Machiavellianism plays a critical role in determining the behaviour of an individual as far as white-collar and fraud is concerned.

The findings suggest that narcissistic personality is an additional personality disorder whereby an individual feels so important and this makes him or her to force others to respect him. In this regard, a narcissist believes in excessive self-importance and most of them are focused on power, victory, magnificence, aptitude, and love. When a narcissist notices that others are achieving great things in life, he or she becomes envious and believes others are also jealous of his or her achievements. Arrogance and manipulation are some of the features of narcissists because they constantly seek respect, praise, and endorsement.

Managers engaged in fraud and white-collar crimes exaggerate their achievements, which make them to inflate financial statements for them to look successful. A narcissist has little time for others given the fact they focus too much on their abilities and if an individual proves productive in the company, chances are high that he or she would be treated as an enemy. If an employee fails to support the fraudulent behaviour of top manager, bullying is inevitable and in case they receive full support, they will likely exploit employees unfairly to an extend of making unkind use of them. Unfortunately, a narcissist might force people to adopt their ideas, but they suffer from poor self-image and this explains their insistence on cooperation. Studies show that individuals with narcissistic features are successful in business because the continued praise makes them to work hard leading to success.

It is surprising to note that individuals with this behaviour do not accept blame, but they crave for recognition. As such, they cannot make good managers given the fact they steal the entire glory and put the blame on others instead of supporting their juniors to achieve their goals. Just like Machiavellianism, narcissists might have experienced a troubled background that could have damaged their sense of identity. Therefore, they try as much as possible to repair their image and they think being praised would change things. For some narcissists, they could have received too much attention during childhood, which could have led to a dysfunctional self-focus at a mature stage.

Narcissistic personality is very rare, but is likely to affect men as compared to women. The risk factors for the condition include parental disdain whereby lack of affection and praise during childhood is a major problem. The study conducted revealed that younger managers, those that are likely to be below thirty-five years, suffer from this disorder, with the conditioning becoming less threatening as an individual grows old. It means that narcissism fades away with age, something that supports the second question of the study, which claims that fraudulent activities are not committed often and it cannot be detected right away.

Again, those aged thirty-five years are likely to display high levels of positive personality traits, such as diligence, integrity, and self-control. The findings of the study reveal clearly that mature employees with an experience of over ten years engage in fraud quite often, but their behaviour is not related to narcissism in any way because they are people believe stealing from the company is a way of compensation rather than an ordinary theft (Elliott 2010, p. 270). Integrity is an elusive issue that is understood variously, but it is known to influence the performance of an employee in the organization. The third research question of the study claims that individuals aged thirty-five years and below have very low levels of integrity, which is factual based on the collected and analyzed data.

The young managers are tempted to engage in fraud with an aim of attaining financial goals without toiling, but the old are often considerate of other factors, including their image in society and their positions are mentors and leaders in the organization. The study shows further that the young managers are ready to take risks because of their innovative nature and the desire to be successful by trying new things. However, the elderly managers prefer maintenance of status quo meaning they are reluctant to accept change. Therefore, it is rare to find an elderly manager engaging in immoral activities, such as fraud and white-collar crime.

Therefore, deviant personality traits and lack of self-control leads an individual to commit white-collar crime, as well as fraud. The dark triads, narcissism being one of them, are not prevalent in the higher age because the old managers engage in fraud as a form of compensation to their contribution in the organization (Ganon & Donegan 2006, p. 19). Employees with adequate experience have specific skills that allow them to manipulate the systems once they engage in fraud, but this does not mean they are narcissists. However, the elderly tend to apply Machiavellianism because they believe the ends will justify the means.

Psychopaths are individuals who rarely feel guilty of anything implying that they will simply steal company’s resources without regretting. Additionally, such individuals are not remorseful and they do not care whether their actions are harmful to others in society. A psychopath is cunning, manipulative and is aware of the moral principles they are expected to obey. Unfortunately, psychopaths have problems managing their personal lives because they fail to establish lasting relationships given the fact they react to issues without measuring or considering the consequences of their actions.

A psychopath is not intelligent because studies indicate that they are average, but they possess a superficial charm that they employ effectively in realizing their objectives. In terms of age, the findings of the study indicate that psychopaths are the old and the mighty in the organization that rarely show any sign of illogical thinking illusions. Unpredictability, dishonesty, and hypocrisy are some of the distinguishing features of psychopaths because such individuals lack shame and remorse.

Even if an individual suffering from psychopath disorder is caught cheating, stealing, or lying, he or she does not learn from experience because their judgments are usually poor. A psychopath lacks specific emotions, something that allows them to mimic those of others. Unlike narcissists and Machiavellianism, psychopaths are unable to control their tempers and they might end up doing something wrong if confronted (Ding, Chang & Liu, 2009, p. 820). Some would end up cutting short their relationships with significant others while others would quit the job.


It is concluded that weak, positive, and statistically significant correlations were found between concern over being arrested and Psychopath as well as Diligence while additional weak, positive, significant correlations indicated between concern over losing job and Machiavellianism and Psychopath. With regard to having their family and friends being embarrassed, weak, positive, and significant correlations were found with Machiavellianism, Narcissism, Psychopath, and Diligence, with a weak, negative, significant correlation found with Integrity.

No significant correlations were found with concern over the crime being detected before it is committed while significant, negative, and weak correlations were found between a response of none of the above and Narcissism, Psychopath, Diligence, and Self-Control. Additionally, a significant, negative, and moderate correlation was found between this reason and Machiavellianism, with a weak, positive, and statistically significant correlation found with Integrity. Finally, a significant, positive, and weak correlation was indicated between feeling that this was acceptable and Risk-Taking.

List of References

Chen, S 2010, ‘The Role of Ethical Leadership Versus Institutional Constraints: A Simulation Study of Financial Misreporting by CEOs’, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 93, no. 1, pp. 33-52.

Ding, C, Chang, K & Liu, N 2009, ‘The roles of personality and general ethical judgments in intention to not repay credit card expenses’, Services Industries Journal, Vol. 29, no. 6, pp. 813-834

Elliott, R 2010, ‘Examining the Relationship between Personality Characteristics and Unethical Behaviours Resulting in Economic Crime’, Ethical Human Psychology & Psychiatry, Vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 269-276

Ganon, M & Donegan, J 2006, ‘Self-Control and Insurance Fraud’, Journal of Economic Crime Management, Vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 1-20.

Hartog, D & Belschak, F 2012, ‘Work Engagement and Machiavellianism in the Ethical Leadership Process’, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 107, no. 1, pp. 35-47.

Henle, C 2005, ‘Predicting Workplace Deviance from the Interaction between Organizational Justice and Personality’, Journal of Managerial Issues, Vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 247-63.

Johnson, E, Kuhn, R, Apostolou, B &Hassell, J 2013, ‘Auditor Perceptions of Client Narcissism as a Fraud Attitude Risk Factor’, Auditing: A journal of Practice & Theory, Vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 203-219.

Marshall, A, Baden, D & Guidi, M 2013, ‘Can an Ethical Revival of Prudence Within Prudential Regulation Tackle Corporate Psychopath?’, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 117, no. 3, pp. 559-568.

Martin, D, Rao, A & Sloan, L 2009, ‘Plagiarism, Integrity, and Workplace Deviance: A Criterion Study’, Ethics & Behaviour, Vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 36-50.

Perri, F 2011, ‘White‐Collar Criminals: The ‘Kinder, Gentler’ Offender?’ Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, Vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 217–241.

Shafer, W & Simmons, R 2008, ‘Social responsibility, Machiavellianism and tax avoidance: A study of Hong Kong tax professionals’, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 21, no. 5, pp. 695 – 720.

Stevens, G, Deuling, J &Armenaki, A 2012, ‘Successful Psychopaths: Are They Unethical Decision-Makers and Why?’ Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 105, no. 1, pp. 139-149.

Van-Aswegen, A &Engelbrecht, A 2009, ‘The Relationship between transformational leadership, integrity, and an ethical climate in organisations’, South African Journal of Human Resource management, Vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 221-229.

Wakefield, RL 2008, ‘Accounting and Machiavellianism’, Behavioural Research in Accounting, Vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 115–129.

Watt, R 2012, ‘University students’ propensity towards white-collar versus street crime’, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 113-125.

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IvyPanda. (2020, July 9). Personality Trait and Fraudulent Behaviour. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/personality-trait-and-fraudulent-behaviour/

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"Personality Trait and Fraudulent Behaviour." IvyPanda, 9 July 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/personality-trait-and-fraudulent-behaviour/.

1. IvyPanda. "Personality Trait and Fraudulent Behaviour." July 9, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/personality-trait-and-fraudulent-behaviour/.


IvyPanda. "Personality Trait and Fraudulent Behaviour." July 9, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/personality-trait-and-fraudulent-behaviour/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Personality Trait and Fraudulent Behaviour." July 9, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/personality-trait-and-fraudulent-behaviour/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Personality Trait and Fraudulent Behaviour'. 9 July.

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