The problem of corporate crime has often been seen as a concrete manifestation of a capitalist society that both implicitly and explicitly validates the survival-of-the-fittest theme. In the context of companies striving to keep ahead of the pack, so to speak, this would normally mean resort to any and all means to slaughter the competition and enjoy unbridled profits. Many scholars believe that regulatory mechanisms have, to a large extent, been inadequate in controlling corporate crime.
There are, of course, many different types of corporate crime. There is what is known as "corporate manslaughter", as when it involves a corporation causing a fatal disaster resulting in massive loss of lives. A good example of this would be the Union Carbide case of 1984. A more common type of corporate crime is one involving embezzlement by the directors of the corporation, resulting in prejudice to the minority shareholders and the public at large. In cases involving tax evasion, there is prejudice to the government as well. There is no dearth of examples of abuse of fiduciary duty by company directors.
The idea of corporate governance is rooted in the idea of agency. ...
It is imperative that there be well-established rules for companies to follow as they navigate the course of the growth.
In theory, a director, holding as he does a position of trust, is a fiduciary of the corporation. As such, in cases of conflict of his interest with those of the corporation, he cannot sacrifice the latter without incurring liability for his disloyal act. The fiduciary duty has many ramifications, and the possible conflict of interest situations are almost limitless, each possibility posing different problems. There will be cases where a breach of trust is clear, as where a director converts for his own use funds or property belonging to the corporation, or accepts material benefits for exercising his powers in favor of someone seeking to do business with the corporation.
In many other cases, however, the line of demarcation between the fiduciary relationship and a director's personal right is not easy to define. The law has attempted at least to lay down general rules of conduct and although these serve as guidelines for directors to follow, the determination as to whether in a given case the duty of loyalty has been violated has ultimately to be decided by the court on the case's own merits. What is clear, however, is that shareholder conflicts are prevalent in virtually all jurisdictions and the law has to formulate appropriate channels of redress in order to resolve these conflicts.
Yes, I believe that it more ethically sound to have the law or the legal system play a prominent role in curbing corporate crime. The fact that there are many ways of committing corporate crime, and it impacts the most heavily on the minority shareholders, these