Dishonest Employee: Motivational Aspects

Fraud in any organization usually involves a dishonest employee who has worked his or her way into a high level of trust. Employees who take on additional responsibilities and put in long hours are appreciated by management, and rightfully so—if they are honest. Otherwise, undeserving trust given to a dishonest employee creates a severe risk to internal fraud.

While personal honesty is an important predictor of whether someone will become a dishonest employee, it is only one of three variables associated with dishonesty. The other two are situational pressures and opportunity.

Beginning in 1969, I formalized my interviews with each dishonest employee and found that while individual stories differed, six factors consistently surfaced. Those six factors are attitude, entitlement, rationalization, need, opportunity, and trust.

Although each dishonest employee never mentioned the word greed, I must add this word to my dishonest employee motivational list. All crimes of business fraud have two things in common: One is willingness to violate trust. The other is greed.

Learn more about the impact of a dishonest employee and proven ways to prevent it. Order your copy of Business Fraud: From Trust to Betrayal today!