Corporate crime and the dysfunction of value networks

Michel Dion (Département de Management, Faculté d'administration, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Canada)

Journal of Financial Crime

ISSN: 1359-0790

Publication date: 9 October 2009



The concept of “value network” makes clear that the mission of business corporations cannot be isolated from three basic elements: making profits, responding to customers' needs, reacting to competitors. Too often, value networks are seen as neutral factors in the way corporate crimes are committed. Value networks are usually considered as morally neutral conditioning factors, while it is not the case. The purpose of this paper is to explain how value networks should be closely linked to any crime prevention system.


Christensen's notion of value networks will be used in order to see if corporate crimes constitute a dysfunction of value networks. The most important “traditional” antecedents of corporate crime will be analyzed.


Both financial performance and growth rate are reflecting a deep concern for profitability. The level of market concentration not only reveals the structure of the market itself but also the way competitors react one to each other (particularly, through mergers and acquisitions). In both cases, what is unveiled is the capacity of value networks to enhance ethical as well as unethical practices. The way competitors react one to another, as component of the industry concentration, actually reveals how value networks are morally unsettled when such reaction could influence organizations to commit corporate crimes.


The originality of this paper is to reveal how changing corporate culture could redefine the moral boundaries of value networks within the organization.



Dion, M. (2009), "Corporate crime and the dysfunction of value networks", Journal of Financial Crime, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 436-445.

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