White-collar crimes are illegal and unethical actions by agents of an organization. In this paper, we address two related research questions concerning white-collar crime -how did the language of white-collar crime evolve? And how did this language co-evolve with the investigation of white-collar crime? Building on research on institutional work, we find that key institutional actors such as the Presidential Office are likely to use frames and adopt a particular language (i.e., the term 'white-collar crime') in order to legitimize institutional practices (i.e., investigation of white-collar crimes). Conversely, less powerful actors such as the law enforcement agencies are then likely to use narratives to shape language in order to mobilize other stakeholders to continue the adoption of the referent practice. We uncover these findings by using qualitative methodology and trend analysis. We conclude with a detailed theoretical discussion of the role of institutional actors in institutional work and the implications of our research.

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Vadera , Abhijeet K.; Aguilera Vaqués, Ruth

The evolution of vocabularies and its relation to investigation of white-collar crimes: an institutional work perspective

04/2015
White-collar crimes are illegal and unethical actions by agents of an organization. In this paper, we address two related research questions concerning white-collar crime -how did the language of white-collar crime evolve? And how did this language co-evolve with the investigation of white-collar crime? Building on research on institutional work, we find that key institutional actors such as the Presidential Office are likely to use frames and adopt a particular language (i.e., the term 'white-collar crime') in order to legitimize institutional practices (i.e., investigation of white-collar crimes). Conversely, less powerful actors such as the law enforcement agencies are then likely to use narratives to shape language in order to mobilize other stakeholders to continue the adoption of the referent practice. We uncover these findings by using qualitative methodology and trend analysis. We conclude with a detailed theoretical discussion of the role of institutional actors in institutional work and the implications of our research.
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The evolution of vocabularies and its relation to investigation of white-collar crimes: an institutional work perspective
Vadera , Abhijeet K.; Aguilera Vaqués, Ruth
Journal of Business Ethics
Vol. 128, nº 1, 04/2015, p. 21 - 38

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