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Research Design

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Essay title: Research Design

Research Design

For the purpose of explaining why individuals participate in employee theft crimes, the researcher conducted a cross-sectional study over a period of four months.

To select the target population the researcher requested a list of adult offenders convicted of larceny crimes in the Waterford County Courts as the target population. These offenders were sentenced to the Waterford County Office of Probation. Chief Probation Officer Joseph Wells provided the researcher with a list of 4,000 adult offenders convicted of misdemeanor larceny crimes within the past four years in Waterford County. They were sentenced to a period of supervised probation.

For the purpose of this research study, employee theft, also known as internal theft is defined as, the unauthorized taking of money, merchandise or services from one’s employer. The term employee includes those working part-time, full-time and regular employees and managerial staff. As previously mentioned in the theoretical model, the researcher presented four independent variables that seek to explain why individuals are involved in employee theft crimes. Variable one, known as the lack of conventional values, summarized in the Social Bond theory by Travis Hirschi. Conventional values are recognized as the normal or acceptable behaviors recognized by law-abiding citizens. The absence or lack of these values makes and individual susceptible to committing criminal acts. Variable two is known as the negative influence of peers and summarized in principle three of Edwin Sutherland’s Differential Association theory. For this research study, the negative influence of peers is recognized as pressure or compelling factors from one’s peers including co-workers to participate in employee theft crimes despite the possibility of apprehension and punishment. The lack of management supervision, variable three, is recognized as the absence of adequate internal controls in the form of management staff persons. These staff persons do not provide adequate supervision which influences individuals to commit employee theft crimes. Opportunity, variable four, is conceptually defined as, the measure on the part of the person with the ease and certainty in which the crime can be committed. These opportunities include but are not limited to employee access to large sums of money and/or merchandise while employed.

For this research study, offenders convicted of employee theft and sentenced to probation were administered a survey questionnaire developed by the researcher. The survey consisted of six sections and a total of 22 questions. In sections one through five of the survey the dependent

and independent surveys were addressed. The respondents were given directions on how to respond to the closed ended questions. Participants were directed to choose a response from a provided list. Likert response categories were used in the survey for sections one through five. Responses were assigned a numerical value. A response of “1” indicates the respondent strongly agrees, a response of “2” indicates the respondent agrees, a response value of “3” indicates that the respondent disagrees and a response of “4” indicates the respondent strongly agrees with the statement or question. Section one of the survey contains three questions designed to understand the participant’s perception on Employee Theft. In scoring responses, a score of 16 is the lowest one can receive. This score indicates that the four factors or variables contributing to employee theft apply to the particular respondent. The highest score of 64 indicates that those variables did not apply to the particular respondent. Section six of the survey labeled “demographics” contains questions that will be measured nominally(race, gender), ordinally (employment type, level of employment), and ratio measures (age, time employed)

The researcher has developed the following hypothesis to test for the purpose of this study:

a. There is a relationship between the lack of conventional values and employee theft

b. There is a relationship between negative peer influence and employee theft.

c. There is a relationship between the lack of management supervision and employee theft.

d. There is a relationship between opportunity and employee theft


The researcher obtained a list of 4,000 adult offenders convicted of misdemeanor larceny and sentenced to the Waterford County Office of Probation (see index, “letter of request”) within the past three years (N=4,000). A random sample of 300 persons convicted

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