Other Free Encyclopedias » Law Library - American Law and Legal Information » Crime and Criminal Law » Employee Theft: Legal Aspects - Estimates Of Cost, Legal Status Of Employee Theft, Conceptions Of Property, Employee Norms And Employee Theft

Employee Theft: Legal Aspects - Conceptions Of Property

ownership items uncertain system

Legally, there are only two types of property in the work system: company property owned by the enterprise, and personal property owned by the employees. Conceptually, workers acknowledge the existence of both of these but add a third type—property of uncertain ownership. The latter has no official status but to those in the work system it is very real. Property of uncertain ownership is a malleable entity, contracting and expanding as ownership is claimed, ignored, or relinquished. It comprises countless items such as paper clips, pencils/pens, tools, samples, postit note pads, damaged goods, returned goods that cannot be returned to stock, scrap, and much more. This category of property has the following general characteristics: the items comprising it are system-specific, they vary from one work system to another; the items are those used up in the course of one's work or are the byproducts of work or are not part of the work system's materials; they are items for which no accounting is thought necessary or possible; they are items the control of which has been relinquished to those who use them in the course of their work.

Most workers agree on a core of items in the category of uncertain ownership; however, as one moves out from the core, agreement diminishes. Viewed through time, the items in this category ebb and flow as ownership is claimed or relinquished. Ultimately, this results in a distribution of property that embraces the full spectrum of property in a work organization. The opposing ends of the spectrum represent property of certain ownership: company property at one end, personal property at the other. Between these, in the malleable middle, is the property of uncertain ownership, which flows from the owned property. Property of uncertain ownership is most amenable to theft, offering the advantage of having no victim and of not requiring that one define one's behavior as theft (Greenberg; Henry and Mars; Hollinger and Clark; Horning; Sykes).

Employee Theft: Legal Aspects - Employee Norms And Employee Theft [next] [back] Employee Theft: Legal Aspects - Legal Status Of Employee Theft

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or