From “We Didn’t Do It” to “We’ve Learned Our Lesson”: Development of a Typology of Neutralizations of Corporate Crime

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


When corporations are faced with accusations of crime, they usually find it necessary to justify their actions to the public, the media and their shareholders. Corporate self-defense, aimed at protecting a corporation’s image and legitimacy, belongs to a broader category of offenders’ denials and neutralizations. The objective of this article is to compile and discuss literature that is of value for an understanding of neutralizations of corporate crime and, by means of this literature and our own empirical studies on corporate denials, to outline a typology of corporate neutralizations. The typology distinguishes between a wide variety of corporate responses to allegations of crime and exemplifies how these techniques have been used. We also discuss the function of corporate neutralization techniques and argue that corporate accounts mediate action; they influence both other actors and future corporate actions.


External organisations
  • Stockholm University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Law and Society
  • Business Administration
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)739-757
Number of pages19
JournalCritical Criminology
Issue number4
Early online date2019 Dec 16
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec
Publication categoryResearch