Self-Regulatory Approaches to White-Collar Crime: The Importance of Legitimacy and Procedural Justice

  • Tom R. Tyler


Securing employee adherence to workplace rules and company policies is a key antecedent of successful functioning within organizations. It is important for companies to be able to effectively motivate rule following behavior among employees, i.e. to be able to limit white-collar crime. This chapter compares the utility of two approaches to securing such behavior. Those strategies are as follows: (1) the sanction-based command-and-control model and (2) self-regulation approaches that are linked to activating employee’s ethical judgments. Research findings suggest that, while command-and-control strategies influence employee behavior, self-regulatory strategies have a stronger influence. Studies also explore the basis of these ethical judgments, and find that the primary factor shaping them is the procedural justice that employees experience in their workplace. These results suggest that the roots of employee policy adherence and rule following behavior lie in the procedural justice of the organization. Overall, this analysis highlights the important role ethical judgments play in motivating both rule following and policy adherence among employees in work settings and provides practical suggestions for shaping those judgments.


Procedural Justice Ethical Judgment Work Organization Work Setting Fair Procedure 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom R. Tyler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNew York UniversityUSA

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