The Role of Behavioural Regulatory Design in Optimization of Corporate Crime Prevention

Project Details

Description (abstract)

The study aims at demonstrating that the prevention of corporate crime can be optimized by means of behavioural regulatory design. The project seeks to explain that any liability model for corporate crime should be designed to account for the behavioural root causes of corporate offending, which are, according to a research hypothesis, weak corporate culture and low institutional aspirations as regards ethical behaviour. Behaviourally informed liability model is efficient, as it fields an appropriate incentive for organizing business operations in a diligent manner, which in turn, promotes meaningful self-regulation and ethical behaviour and thus, prevention of environmental offending within corporate organizations. The innovation of the study is, therefore, to interlink the prevention of corporate offending with a regulatory design motivated by the behavioural and organizational explanations of corporate crime. This novel approach unlocks new opportunities for crime prevention as the suggested model combines a punitive command-and-control mechanism with a softer self-regulatory approach.

Under the research hypothesis, the behavioral regulatory design supports a regulatory strategy where corporate criminal liability is linked to the corporation’s negligence to organise its business operations in a diligent manner. Finland and Sweden are rare legal systems in the world using the negligence liability model, which contrasts the heavily criticized derivative liability model in use e.g. in the federal US legal system. In the latter, liability is directly based on the acts of individual offenders without the requirement of corporate negligence, thereby leaving out genuine corporate culpability, i.e. the essence of criminal liability. The unique angle of the project enables an analysis of existing legal norms and court practice as opposed to an assessment of corporate negligence as a hypothetical legal construction and thus, establishing an optimal liability model as an international standard promoting sustainable and ethical business operations.
Effective start/end date01/06/202031/05/2022


  • Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS): €120,000.00

Fields of Science

  • 513 Law
  • 5144 Social psychology