The Impact of Theft on Employees and Organizations

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Employees’ Theft and its Impact on Organizations

Employees’ theft is one of the unethical behaviors that most organizations have struggled to fight. The issue of theft within an organization is critical since it influences the company’s productivity and its ability to satisfy the needs of the consumers. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to define theft of time, materials or goods, as well as the impact those vices have on employees and organizations. In addition, the report will discuss potential legal issues and some of the ways such negative behaviors can be prevented.

Time Theft: A Form of Employee Theft

One type of theft that is evident in organizations is time theft. Time banditry refers to the activity in which employees spend time working on other issues that are not related to what they are employed to do (Henle et al. 53). Some of the behaviors that characterize theft of time include leaving work before the stipulated time, arriving at work past the required hours, and taking longer breaks. Time theft has a negative impact on the employees’ performance since coworkers are compelled to work extra hours to compensate for the time lost by one employee (Henle et al. 54). There is no legal implication related to time theft because it is a behavior that is not enforceable by law. According to Henle et al. (54), the theory of planned behavior can be utilized to prevent time theft. The supervisors should regularly check the behavior of the employees by examining their attitude towards the work. Adequate compensation and activities that increase the employees’ morale are among the other useful measures that the organization should utilize to prevent time theft.

Theft of Money or Materials and its Consequences

Theft of money or materials refers to the activity in which employees take unauthorized control of resources owned by the organization (Langner 10). Employees take advantage of the authority they have over the resources entrusted to them. Some of the factors within the entity that increase the likelihood of an employee perpetrating fraud include social norms, loyalty towards the company, and the individual’s attitude. In an organization setting where management cases about theft are prevalent, it is likely that the employees would also engage in the vice. One of the results of money or material theft is employee turnover. Employees who are found guilty of the offenses most likely lose their jobs, which might have rather negative consequences on their livelihood. Another effect of fraud on employees is the increased distrust among coworkers, which leads to reduced productivity and lack of teamwork. If the theft is severe, businesses might be closed, and this could negatively impact the honest employees (Langner 14).

Legal Implications and Measures to Prevent Theft

In most organizations, it is regarded as illegal to steal the organization’s money and materials (Langner 2). However, one of the biggest challenges that organizations’ management is faced with is finding enough evidence to file the matters in court. Notably, employees devise new approaches to conceal the theft, and it becomes difficult to trace the recipient of the stolen money or materials.

One of the measures that could be utilized to prevent money theft is implementing an ethical program that educates management and employees about the disciplinary actions for fraud (Langner 20). In addition, employees should be compensated well for their work since it enhances fairness and loyalty. The management must ensure the surveillance system put in place is acceptable to minimize the incidences of mistrust and hostility.


In conclusion, an organization can save resources if it devises appropriate measures to prevent theft of both money and time. Banditry of an organization’s resources has negative consequences on the employees as it leads to some employees working extra hours due to time theft and increased mistrust because of money theft. Some of the mechanisms that could be used to prevent crime include fair compensation and monitoring employees’ behavior consistently.

Works Cited

Henle, Christine A., Charlie L. Reeve and Virginia E. Pitts. "Stealing Time at Work: Attitudes, Social Pressure, and Perceived Control as Predictors of Time Theft." Business Ethics, 2010, pp. 53-67. DOI: 10.1007/s10551-009-0249-z.

Langner, David. Employee Theft: Determinants of Motive and Proactive Solution. Masters Thesis . Las Vegas, UNLV, 2010, Accessed 13 Apr. 2018.

September 04, 2023

Business Crime



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Employee Ethics

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