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Fraud dynamics and controls in organizations

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  • Davis, Jon S.
  • Pesch, Heather L.

Abstract

This paper develops an agent-based model to examine the emergent dynamic characteristics of fraud in organizations. In the model, individual heterogeneous agents, each of whom can have motive and opportunity to commit fraud and a pro-fraud attitude, interact with each other. This interaction provides a mechanism for cultural transmission through which attitudes regarding fraud can spread. Our benchmark analysis identifies two classes of organizations. In one class, we observe fraud tending toward a stable level. In the other class, fraud dynamics are characterized by extreme behaviors; organizations with mostly honest behavior suddenly change their state to mostly fraudulent behavior and vice versa. These changes seem to occur randomly over time. We then modify our model to examine the effects of various mechanisms thought to impact fraud in organizations. Each of these mechanisms has different impacts on the two classes of organizations in our benchmark model, with some mechanisms being more effective in organizations exhibiting stable levels of fraud and other mechanisms being more effective in organizations exhibiting unstable extreme behavior. Our analysis and results have general implications for designing programs aimed at preventing fraud and for fraud risk assessment within the audit context.

Suggested Citation

  • Davis, Jon S. & Pesch, Heather L., 2013. "Fraud dynamics and controls in organizations," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 469-483.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:aosoci:v:38:y:2013:i:6:p:469-483 DOI: 10.1016/j.aos.2012.07.005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Merle Erickson & Michelle Hanlon & Edward L. Maydew, 2006. "Is There a Link between Executive Equity Incentives and Accounting Fraud?," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 113-143, March.
    5. Holtfreter, Kristy, 2005. "Is occupational fraud "typical" white-collar crime? A comparison of individual and organizational characteristics," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 353-365.
    6. Chang, Juin-jen & Lai, Ching-chong, 2002. " Is the Efficiency Wage Efficient? The Social Norm and Organizational Corruption," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(1), pages 27-47.
    7. Robert Axelrod, 1997. "Advancing the Art of Simulation in the Social Sciences," Working Papers 97-05-048, Santa Fe Institute.
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    Cited by:

    1. Roberto Pietra & Andrea Melis, 2016. "“Governance and corruption: is history repeating itself?” Fostering a debate and inviting contributions from a multidisciplinary perspective," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 20(4), pages 689-701, December.
    2. repec:eee:corfin:v:45:y:2017:i:c:p:401-427 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Balakrishnan, Ramji & Penno, Mark, 2014. "Causality in the context of analytical models and numerical experiments," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 531-534.

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