White-collar crime is globally shattering in its effect, and there is no doubt enforcement is a necessity in rooting it out. In his inaugural lecture, Sharon Oded raises the question of whether enforcement policies currently emerging in the U.S. and other jurisdictions are suitable to serve this purpose. He is particularly concerned with the intoxication of force – that is, the very real situation where the main goal of the enforcement system is to sanctify harsh enforcement, rather than to encourage meaningful compliance.
This lecture seeks to expand the analytical discourse of enforcement systems beyond the notion of deterrence. Following a multi-disciplinary approach, Sharon opens the corporate black box and carefully explores the phenomenon of moral silence as a core reason for compliance failures within organizations. He reveals how a wellcultivated culture of compliance can in turn promote meaningful compliance on the part of corporate employees. This leads to the concept of legitimacy as a guiding principle that – alongside adequate deterrence – may serve as a basis for a more socially desirable enforcement policy. The lecture concludes that in addition to generating an adequate level of deterrence, raising the legitimacy of whitecollar crime law, as well as the legitimacy of its enforcement, would produce better outcomes for society than applying overly zealous, harsh and coercive enforcement.