Workplace fraud and theft in SMEs. Evidence from the mobile telephone sector in Nigeria

Author:Kemi Yekini, Paschal Ohalehi, Ifeyinwa Oguchi, James Abiola
Position:University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
Pages:969-983
SUMMARY

Purpose This paper aims to investigate employee fraud within small enterprises in the Nigerian mobile phone sector. It also seeks to understand the key factors that motivate employees to engage in fraudulent behaviours against their employers, and the consequences of these fraudulent behaviours on small businesses (SMEs) in Nigeria. Design/methodology/approach The empirical study ... (see full summary)

 
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Workplace fraud and theft in SMEs
Evidence from the mobile telephone sector
in Nigeria
Kemi Yekini
University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
Paschal Ohalehi and Ifeyinwa Oguchi
De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, and
James Abiola
Lagos State University, Lagos, Nigeria
Abstract
Purpose This paper aims to investigateemployee fraud within small enterprises in the Nigerianmobile
phone sector. It also seeks to understand the key factors that motivate employees to engage in fraudulent
behavioursagainst their employers, and the consequencesof these fraudulent behaviours on smallbusinesses
(SMEs) in Nigeria.
Design/methodology/approach The empirical study involves the use of quantitativeresearch. Data
were collected through structured questionnaires from 159 business owners, salesrepresentatives, cashiers
and suppliers.Frequency distribution, percentages, Pearsoncorrelation and multiple regression analysis were
used to analyse the collecteddata.
Findings The ndings from this research show a signicant relationship between personal and
organisational factors and employee theft. Particularly, organisational factors made the strongest positive
contribution to employee theft. The research also revealed that employee theft had signicant effects on
employers butless signicance on employees. In addition, the research revealedthat many businesses did not
have preventive measures against employeetheft in their rms. The ndings of this study were compared
with existingliterature.
Originality/value This study shows the relationship between different factors that could cause an
employeeto engage in fraudulent behaviours, particularlyin SMEs in Nigeria.
Keywords Fraud, SME, Occupational fraud, Employee fraud, Workplace fraud
Paper type Research paper
Introduction
Nigeria, like many other countries, faces challenges as a result of fraud incidence, theft and
other similar unethical practices, which have negatively affected the advancement of the
country and its global image (Hamilton and Gabriel, 2012). Unethical behaviours such as
theft have resulted in high failure ratesin businesses with a resulting adverse effect on the
economy (Cant et al., 2013). Particularly, SMEs in Nigeria are not an exceptionbecause they
have been similarly marredby unbelievable waves of employee theft (Hamilton and Gabriel,
2012). Employee theft cannot be overlooked as it causes huge losses to SME owners in
Nigeria. Most importantly, these SMEs have been identied as an essential element for
economic development in Nigeria (Ayozie, 2011). According to Oyebamiji et al. (2013), they
are the power house for economic growth and development in every country. For instance,
according to the ACFE (2014), SMEs are disproportionately aficted with employee theft.
The report further disclosed that the majority of workplace theft occurred in privately-
Workplace
theft in SMEs
969
Journalof Financial Crime
Vol.25 No. 4, 2018
pp. 969-983
© Emerald Publishing Limited
1359-0790
DOI 10.1108/JFC-03-2017-0025
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
www.emeraldinsight.com/1359-0790.htm

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