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Tesco’s Tone at the Top and the Myth of the Rogue Employee

Tom Fox | January 19, 2016

When does corporate culture lead to a corruption scandal? What about the myth of the rogue employee; that one who, in spite of all training and corporate guidance goes ‘off the reservation’ and engages in corruption for his or her on personal benefit. Yet this rogue employee’s conduct brings Serious Fraud Office scrutiny or worse? Alas there is a reason it is called the myth of the rogue employee and that myth is that there was as corporation behind the employee, incentivizing the employee to engage in the nefarious conduct.

Over the past year, we saw this play out again with the Tesco accounting fraud scandal, where the company admitted that it overstated profit by over £260 million. It not only led to the most serious crisis the company has ever become embroiled  but also investigations by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and lawsuits against the company. Yet just as the accounting and corporate fraud of the US company Enron, the accounting fraud at...

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