Organizational crime – EUROC (WG) – Panel VIII

Building: E
Room: 11

Chair: Carlotta Carbone

Klopp Ina
Title: Outlaw Motorcycle Gang - Related Crime in Germany: Prohibition of Biker Jackets and Clubs as Approaches to Prevention
On March 16th 2017, the law concerning associations has changed. Ever since, the members of outlaw motorcycle gangs are not allowed to wear biker jackets in public if one chapter of their club has been banned. In addition to that, members are not allowed to use their symbols at clubhouses or on webpages. Up to now, it was possible that club members could still wear biker jackets with the symbols of their club so long as it was not from a forbidden chapter. The amendment is an approach to the prevention against OMCG crime in Germany. Another approach to its prevention in Europe is the banning of whole motorcycle gangs or individual chapters. To ban a club, prosecution must prove that it poses a danger to public order and of social disruption. The consequences of a ban include the closure of clubhouses and members not being permitted to wear club clothing. In January 2017, the Criminological Institute of Lower Saxony started a research project, investigating OMCG – related crime. The presentation informs about the results of interviews with experts and an analysis of criminal court files. It will illustrate how experts experience the prohibition of biker jackets, which effects it has on their work and the difficulties that have emerged. In addition, the presentation examines the prohibition of motorcycle gangs and its preconditions. Moreover, it evaluates the consequences of introducing bans from the perspective of gang members and experts.
Keywords: Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs; organized Crime; Prevention
Carbone Carlotta
Title: Too-Close-For-Comfort? a Social Network Analysis of Collusion in the Italian Public Procurement
Bid-rigging causes a great harm to economy and society. Existing collusion detection models screen price irregularities across tenders and anomalous behaviours of bidders. Whereas, there is little research on interactions between companies. The network dimension plays a pivotal role in this kind of crime, occurring it through the establishment, enforcement and fulfilment of agreements among different companies. This study, focusing on such interactions, aims to predict co-membership of companies in the same cartel. Specifically, it assesses the degree to which similarities among companies regarding their characteristics (e.g. sharing ownership structure) and bidding behaviour (e.g. frequently co-bidding) uncover a coordinated strategy to rig public tenders. The study, combining administrative data on the Italian public procurement and company information, builds a model to detect collusive ties. The model is built, through regression and social network analysis techniques, on a dataset in which bid-rigging has been judicially proved. Then, it is tested on auctions without any prior information on collusion. Finally, the potential groups of colluders detected by the analysis are compared with those identified by the contracting authority. This study contributes to a better understanding of collusive agreements and their detection, by providing insights into the structure of cartels and their functioning. The presentation introduces the research design and preliminary findings.
Keywords: bid-rigging; social network analysis; risk assessment; public procurement
van Stokkom Bas
Title: The Anomie of Power Illusions. Grandiose Ambitions in the ‘Risk and Win’-Corporate World
Generally, large listed companies and banks immersed in a ‘risk and win’-culture do not have to deal with ‘deprivation of resources’ which may trigger violations of the law. Merton’s anomie-theory does not seem to fit in this context. It is more obvious that the pressure to realize lofty ambitions is the trigger for potential violations of the law. Therefore a ‘post-Mertonian’ anomie-concept of power illusions seems to make more sense in this context of corporate crime. The central question is: which anomic attitudes prevail in an over-ambitious corporate culture and which aspirations and rationalizations can be distinguished in this culture? It is argued that an approach focused on CEO-personality traits – over-confidence; desire to control – has its limitations and that sociological approaches offer more points of departure to construct a plausible anomie-theory. The dimensions of this theory have been taken from studies which focus at two criminogenic norm-systems: an ‘ethos of winning at any price’ and an ‘ethos of entitlement’.
Keywords: corporate crime, anomie, power illusions, ethos of entitlement