Criminology and Criminal Justice
Employee theft is considered a form of white-collar crime. The concept of white-collar crime was first introduced by Edwin Sutherland in his 1939 presidential address to the American Society of Criminology. Most scholars now agree that white-collar crime is presently a very broad subject. Historically, white-collar crime has been thought of as crimes committed by executives in any corporate setting. This is a common misconception in that theft by employees can occur from any position within an employer's chain of command. Whether an entry-level worker takes office supplies or a CEO embezzles millions of dollars, both employees have committed employee theft. White-collar crime is divided into two crime categories, occupational and corporate crime. Presently, scholars regard employee theft as an occupational crime. However, scholars have been unable to accept a universally conclusive definition of employee theft.
Smith, Brian T., "Employee Theft" (2014). Criminal Justice Faculty Publications. 38.
Smith, B.T. (2014). Employee Theft. In J.S. Albanese (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.