Strong by concealment? How secrecy, trust, and social embeddedness facilitate corporate crime

Jelle Jaspers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


This article examines how corporate crime is organised through studying the longevity of illegal business cartels. Previous studies demonstrate cartels can remain undetected for years or decades. Similar to criminal networks, cartel participants need to communicate in order to collaborate effectively, but operate covertly at the same time. The case study analysis of fourteen Dutch cartel cases in this study demonstrates two main findings. First, cartel participants communicate frequently and elaborately, and the need for trust and communication impedes concealment. Second, the longevity of cartels cannot be explained by isolation from but by embeddedness in their social environment. The context of legitimacy and a facilitating environment are significant factors. Criminal collaboration is studied extensively in literature on organised crime, however gained little attention in the literature on corporate crime. Hereby, this study contributes to an understanding of how corporate criminal conduct is organised, by applying relevant theory on criminal networks gleaned from the literature on organised crime.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalCrime, Law & Social Change
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2019

Research programs

  • SAI 2005-04 MSS


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