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Article

Anne Fennimore

The purpose of this paper is to adapt research conducted on subclinical psychopaths and Machiavellians to conceptualise false agents in transaction cost economics (TCE)…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to adapt research conducted on subclinical psychopaths and Machiavellians to conceptualise false agents in transaction cost economics (TCE). Both opportunism and information asymmetry provide a means to manipulate contractual relationships, pursuing existing loopholes for self-interest, while uncertainty and small-numbers bargaining allow false agents to exploit existing agreements during periods of rapid change, growth, and development. Considering differences in contract length preference may inform our understanding of subclinical psychopaths and Machiavellians. Contextually, the rise of “quasi-governmental” hybrid organisations may produce an ideal prospect for “natural born” opportunists to reap self-interested benefits through contractual loopholes.

Design/methodology/approach

This theoretical paper addresses social norms and blind trust in contractual relationships. In turn, blind trust may provide clues about the environmental conditions that facilitate manipulation by subclinical psychopaths and Machiavellians during negotiations of contract term length.

Findings

Williamson’s (1975) TCE framework provides a novel approach to subclinical psychopathic and Machiavellian behaviour by agents. Assumptions about behavioural norms may differ between the contracting party and the agent, leading to positive behavioural expectations of trust such as confidence, reciprocity, and history. The length of the contractual relationship may distinguish subclinical psychopaths from Machiavellians. The subclinical psychopath is more likely to behave opportunistically in short-term contracts, while Machiavellians more likely amass goodwill to behave opportunistically in long-term contracts. The role of uncertainty, small-numbers bargaining, information asymmetry, and opportunism is particularly relevant in quasi-governmental organisations when agents are “natural born” opportunists.

Originality/value

This theoretical paper adds to discussion of TCE related problems in organisations. “Natural born” opportunistic agents are more likely to take advantage of principals who extend trust as a goodwill gesture in a contractual relationship. Trust often represents a mental shortcut, based on “gut” reactions to save time, especially in dynamic environments. Hybrid organisations represent one such environment, in which contracting of goods and services renders comprehensive monitoring impracticable. Yet, scholarship adheres to legal mechanisms as safeguards against opportunism without acknowledging social norms that guide blind trust. Finally, contrasting motives between principals and false agents creates an inherent relationship asymmetry.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 55 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article

Nathan Griffiths

To provide a mechanism for agents to form, maintain, and reason within medium‐term coalitions, called clans, based upon the notions of trust and motivation.

Abstract

Purpose

To provide a mechanism for agents to form, maintain, and reason within medium‐term coalitions, called clans, based upon the notions of trust and motivation.

Design/methodology/approach

The model is based upon the notions of trust (representing an agent's assessment of another's honesty and reliability) and motivations (which represent an agent's high‐level goals). The paper describes the motivational factors that can lead to clan formation, a mechanism for agents to form a clan or join an existing clan, and subsequently how clan membership influences behaviour (in particular though sharing information and acting on behalf of other members). Finally, describes the conditions under which agents leave a clan.

Findings

The proposed mechanism shows how agents can form medium‐term clans with trusted agents based on motivations that are essentially self‐interested. It is shown how this mechanism can be used to reduce missed opportunities for cooperation, improve scalability, reduce the failure rate and allow sharing of trust information (i.e. establish a notion of reputation).

Originality/value

Proposes a new approach to coalition formation based on the notions of trust and motivation, which allows self‐interested agents to form medium‐term coalitions (called clans) to increase their own (motivational) returns.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 34 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Cognitive Economics: New Trends
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-862-9

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Article

Michel Picard

The initial role of computers and information technology (IT) systems consisted of improving business daily's operation. However, this quest of efficiency serves more…

Abstract

Purpose

The initial role of computers and information technology (IT) systems consisted of improving business daily's operation. However, this quest of efficiency serves more obscure goals as fraudsters exploit the electronic dimension for personal profits with a maximum devastating impact on businesses and their client. The purpose of this paper is to suggest an analysis of the role of the electronic dimension in financial market crimes. It proposes reconsidering its importance based on its role rather than on its complexity and, consequently, better understanding the basic elements of a fraud.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes the form of a case analysis and field work.

Findings

The complexity of an IT system facilitates the commitment of a fraud and, at the same time, complicates its investigation. However, an IT system does not initiate a fraud. It is an accessory, a tool at the service of a criminal mind which is where the scheme originates.

Research limitations/implications

Information regarding the two case studies comes only from public sources (mainly written media and books) and is not confirmed by any confidential data available to the author.

Originality/value

Many computer crime experts (re: Cybercriminality Conference in Canada, April 2008, and in Luxembourg, June 2008) agree upon accessorial aspect of IT systems. For investigation purposes, it switches the focus from the computer element back to the main event: the environment in which the fraud occurs.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

Keywords

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Article

Betty Santangelo, Gary Stein and Margaret Jacobs

The purpose of this article is to explain recent enforcement trends under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), providing examples of recent cases.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to explain recent enforcement trends under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), providing examples of recent cases.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper describes recent trends in FCPA enforcement, including increased enforcement by US authorities, greater vigilance by private industry, and global anti‐corruption efforts. It provides an overview of the FCPA, including the original reason why the Act was passed, its anti‐bribery provisions, the need to show corrupt intent, the interstate commerce requirement, exceptions and affirmative defenses, record‐keeping and control provisions, and penalties. It describes recent FCPA prosecutions and enforcement actions and draws conclusions on how to reduce FCPA risk.

Findings

The FCPA is a Watergate‐era law that was passed in response to disclosures by a number of large US corporations that they had made illicit payments to foreign government officials. The FCPA applies to bribes by any US issuer or domestic concern, paid to any foreign official, foreign political party, official or candidate, or official of a public international organization in order to assist in obtaining, retaining, or directing business. To prosecute, the government must show corrupt intent. The FCPA also contains provisions that require accurate record‐keeping and internal controls of US issuers. Violations of the FCPA are subject to both criminal and civil penalties.

Originality/value

The paper presents a thorough explanation, practical advice, and examples of recent violations and penalties by experienced lawyers specializing in FCPA compliance as well as white‐collar defense, securities regulatory matters, internal investigations, and anti‐money laundering.

Details

Journal of Investment Compliance, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1528-5812

Keywords

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Article

Emanuele Bardone and Davide Secchi

This study aims at redefining bounded rationality on the basis of a more socialized view of the individual. In doing so, it introduces “inquisitiveness” as a key…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims at redefining bounded rationality on the basis of a more socialized view of the individual. In doing so, it introduces “inquisitiveness” as a key disposition that some team members use to assemble and integrate knowledge when solving problems.

Design/methodology/approach

Using an agent-based computational simulation, this research models different simulated employees working together in “ad hoc” teams to solve problems.

Findings

Results show that inquisitiveness may work as an efficiency “driver” that, when present, economizes on the knowledge needed by team members to solve problems. In addition to that, results also show that environments with many problems are more suitable for inquisitive individuals to be effective.

Originality/value

Following the late Herbert Simon, the paper takes the stance that rationality should be redefined as a socially oriented process and introduces inquisitiveness as one – although probably not the only one – of the characteristics that help individuals and teams to make rational decisions.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

Keywords

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Article

This is the first comprehensive study that has appeared on consumption and rationing in the present war. All types of rationing and the experience of a very large number…

Abstract

This is the first comprehensive study that has appeared on consumption and rationing in the present war. All types of rationing and the experience of a very large number of countries are brought under review, on the basis of material collected by the Economic Intelligence Service of the League of Nations. Rationing and other measures of consumption control are enforced in order to ensure an equitable distribution of limited—and in many countries drastically curtailed—supplies of certain essential goods, such as foodstuffs, clothing and fuel. But they play a further very vital role in war economy, by reducing (or limiting) civilian demand in order to liberate maximum resources for war purposes and by making possible the control of prices. The volume opens with a discussion of this broad problem of consumption control in war economy, the various methods of rationing, the conditions under which they can operate successfully and the connection between rationing and price control. Particular attention is naturally devoted to food. In the second chapter tables are given showing, for some thirty countries, by categories of consumers and groups of foodstuffs, rations prevailing in the spring of 1942. As regards Europe, available evidence seems to show that diets are adequate in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland, and not critically short in calories (though apparently deficient in animal proteins, fats, minerals and certain vitamins) in Germany, despite the substantial cut in the German rations which occurred in April, 1942. The situation in Italy and Spain is decidedly worse than in Germany. This is also true of the occupied countries, except Denmark. Not only are the legal rations lower, but those rations are frequently unobtainable in the shops; and even if obtainable, it is often doubtful whether full rations can be purchased by the poorest classes, prices having risen out of all proportion to the frozen wage‐rates. Diets in the Netherlands, Czechoslovakia and Norway are nutritionally poorer and more deficient in calories than in Germany. In France and Belgium, where the rations represent about 60 per cent. of the pre‐war calorie consumption, many of those who are unable to eke out their rations by purchases on the “ black market ” are living at the barest level of subsistence. In Finland the rations represent about 55 per cent., in Poland (General‐Government) less than 50 per cent. of the pre‐war calorie consumption. In the latter country, in parts of Yugoslavia, and above all in Greece, there is famine. To meet differences in individual needs, two distinct systems have been evolved. In Germany, where about 90 per cent. of food consumption is rationed, rations are differentiated according to kinds of foods and classes of consumers—the latter being divided into categories by occupations (heavy worker, very heavy worker, light worker) and by sex, age, etc. The rations of bread, fat and meat of “ very heavy workers,” for example, are between two and three times as large as those of normal consumers. The German system, which has been generally applied in the occupied countries, is rigid and leaves a minimum of free consumers' choice. The British system is far more flexible. Bread and potatoes are free, thus permitting everyone to obtain an unlimited number of calories, while restaurant and canteen meals are supplementary to the individual's basic ration. Special needs are met by the allocation of extra rations to canteens catering to industrial workers, by the extension of free school meals, and by “ distribution schemes ” giving children, mothers and sick people first claim on available supplies of protective foods such as milk and fruit‐juice. Flexibility is also maintained by the group rationing of canned goods. According to this system each item within the group is valued in points and the consumer may buy whatever he desires up to a given total point value. It is considered of great importance that all, irrespective of income, should be able to obtain their quota of essential foods. Among the measures introduced for this purpose are the far‐reaching subsidies to keep down prices. Many aspects of the British system are naturally to be found elsewhere: for example, the subsidisation of staple foods is practised in Sweden and certain other European countries; Germany distributes free vitamin preparations to school children; canteen and school feeding is common in Germany and many of the occupied areas, though for these meals ration cards have, as a rule, to be given up. In the case of food, there are definite limits to the amount by which consumption can be reduced without endangering health and life; in the case of most, though not all, consumers' goods, there are no such obvious limits and, in fact, the consumption of such goods has been drastically curtailed. Available information on the subject is given in the third chapter. The group rationing system just mentioned has been universally applied in the case of clothing. But in Germany, most of the occupied areas and Italy, rationing lias been supplemented by a system of special permits, without which no purchase of certain articles of clothing can be made. By the first half of 1941, purchases of clothing in Germany had been reduced by some 50 per cent. from the pre‐war level. The clothes rationing introduced in the United Kingdom in June, 1941, led to a decrease of about 30 per cent. in the volume of sales in the second half of that year compared with the same period of 1940. Fuel, electric current, soap, and other articles of household consumption are subject to restrictions of varying degrees of severity; the production of luxury goods has been restricted or stopped, while such limited quantities as may reach the market are subject to drastically increased taxation; the production of most durable consumers' goods— refrigerators, household furniture, pianos, etc.—has likewise been stopped. The last chapter contains a brief analysis of the effects which war‐time restrictions have had on the aggregate volume of consumption in various countries. Consumption has been heavily reduced in all European countries and in Japan; in the United States, Canada, Australia and certain other countries it appears to have increased up to the latter part of 1941. In the United Kingdom the reduction in consumption provided about one‐third of the total domestic resources absorbed in the war effort in 1941. The requirements of war production have also been met to a considerable extent by the consumption of capital. Germany, in particular, has had to resort to capital consumption on a large scale, in spite of a curtailment of private consumption by some 25 to 30 per cent. In reviewing the whole body of evidence, especially concerning food rationing, it is observed that the rationing systems which have been developed are “ more than a mere method of restricting individual consumption. They aim in fact at securing a minimum diet for the population as a whole and, in spite of the necessary limitations imposed by the war‐time scarcity, they contain the elements of a distributive system in which consumption is guided not so much by individual purchasing power as by human wants.”

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 45 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article

Robert Bogue

This paper discusses the size and structure of the global biosensor market which is presently dominated by medical applications.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper discusses the size and structure of the global biosensor market which is presently dominated by medical applications.

Design/methodology/approach

It considers a number of recent developments based on nanotechnology.

Findings

Identifies homeland security as an emerging area offering significant prospects for technological innovation and market growth.

Originality/value

Of interest to those concerned with technology developments.

Details

Sensor Review, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0260-2288

Keywords

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Article

Mathew Wills

The British Food Journal has had a long and distinguished career as an information source both for those involved in regulation and those who produce within the food…

Abstract

The British Food Journal has had a long and distinguished career as an information source both for those involved in regulation and those who produce within the food industry. Indeed, in 1988 the journal enters its 90th year of this service. A review of its past also provides a review of key trends and evolutions in food manufacture and control. The article highlights key issues and developments from 1899 to 1988.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 89 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article

In 1899 the medical practitioners of Dublin were confronted with an outbreak of a peculiar and obscure illness, characterised by symptoms which were very unusual. For want…

Abstract

In 1899 the medical practitioners of Dublin were confronted with an outbreak of a peculiar and obscure illness, characterised by symptoms which were very unusual. For want of a better explanation, the disorder, which seemed to be epidemic, was explained by the simple expedient of finding a name for it. It was labelled as “beri‐beri,” a tropical disease with very much the same clinical and pathological features as those observed at Dublin. Papers were read before certain societies, and then as the cases gradually diminished in number, the subject lost interest and was dropped.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 2 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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