Legally it is the corporation, and not its representatives that engage in business activity. However, natural persons, usually own a corporation and do determine and carry out its policies. At the same time these natural persons, individually, own none of the property of the corporation (Koontz & Fulmer, 2000, pp. 136). Such companies generate capital for the economy and their investors whilst creating job opportunities for the masses however, this power is seldom coupled with uniformed responsibility. With the increasing giant corporations in the world the trend of corporate harm and corporate crime are also increasing. There is a fine line between both the notions.
Corporate harm is defined as all the activities of the corporations, which do not come under legislation but create adverse effects on employees, stakeholders and environment. For Example the increasing workload on the employees of corporations are causing numerous health problems to the employees such as high blood pressure and heart diseases (Health and Safety Executive, 1993). Examples of Corporate harm include:
It involves many variables. The situations in which the corporate harm takes place vary to great extent. Corporations find it important to serve their purpose neglecting the purpose of all the other parties involved. The situations can not be generalised and the degrees cannot be suggested to the extent at which the corporations are found guilty (Coleman, 1987). In some of the cases the immediate responsibility lies on the shoulders of an individual. But still it is very difficult to decide whether the action was the result of the individual or was effected by the organisation structural pressure. For instance in the case of Clapham rails disaster 35 people died, the accident was the result of loose wire, which displayed yellow light rather than red light. The technician violated the British rail standard procedure and left an old wire loose. It was a technical fault by the technician, which caused such a severe accident. But there are many factors on the part of corporation, which played part in the accident and are not taken into consideration while undertaking the inquiry and in other words which are invisible. Such as lack of training provision to the staff, stretched working hours, lack of knowledge about technical standards due to non-provision from the Corporation. As in the case of Waterloo Area Re-signalling scheme 28% workers were working from 13 weeks without any off. Technician had taken 1 day off in proceeding 3 months. Although all these practices are not restricted under legislation but played significant role in the event.
Many social factors such as lack of knowledge, cultural backwardness, lack of training facilities and social structure, improper check and balance procedures