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At the same time, he cites research that indicates that in those states with higher relative levels of social capital there are impressive benefits to be realized: kids are better off, by any number of measures; schools work better; kids watch less television; violent crime is rarer; mortality is lower; and health is better.26
In thinking about these figures, Putnam speculates that perhaps they represent the influence of four primary factors. First, he notes, is the pressure of time and money, most frequently thought of as the two-income household that has little energy for other involvements. Second, he believes, is commuting and the sprawl of the suburbs, which have pulled us further apart spatially. Third, he opines, is the impact of the various forms of electronic entertainment that allow us to do alone what previously we would have done in groups. Finally, he concludes, we are experiencing the passing of a generation of “joiners” whose chi-dren and grandchildren do not tend to form the bonds of yesteryear.27
Even the ubiquitous small group may not be the exact functional equivalent of traditional civic associations in building the base of social capital. Putnam quotes Wuthnow to this effect, noting his work that showed that about 40 percent of Americans belonged to small groups that met regularly to provide mutual support to members. While nearly half of these groups are based on religious affiliation, a fair number are organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous, groups for retarded citizens, garden clubs, book clubs, and hobby clubs. Unlike the large
and more formal organizations, these organizations are believed to provide significant bases of support for their members in what Wuthnow describes as a more “fluid” way.28
In thinking about how the United States can begin to recapture some of the social capital that once characterized much of its civic life, Putnam offers the following suggestions. First, he counsels, begins with the education and socialization of children by their families. Second, is to make the workplace a more “family-friendly” environment, that will permit the time and resources to explore social capital opportunities. Third, that the design of communities and public spaces will be oriented more to integrated and pedestrian modes of transportation with less reliance on the ever-present, and alienating, automobile. Fourth, he cites a need for a spiritual “community of meaning,” that can bind together, while respecting diversity and differences. Fifth, he calls for modes of entertainment, even those that are electronic, that are more integrating than solitary. Sixth, he believes that the arts can be a ready forum to bring people together in groups, rather than be passive by-standers. Seventh, he believes we should encourage more civic involvement in the political process, in matters both great and small.29
As we explore organizations for elements of community, we would be well advised to keep Putnam’s thoughts and observations in mind. Clearly, the asso-ciational nature and inclinations of most Americans have changed. Whether we believe that change is bad or good is beyond the point; it is both present and persistent. The issue is perhaps best considered from the perspective of what is present, rather than what has passed from the scene. People still socialize, they just do it in different ways. People still join, they just do it less often and in different ways. People still care about issues, they just articulate that caring in a different arena. Most of all, people still have healthy portions of self-interest in their psychological make-ups.
If we look at some of the organizations that prospered during an era of asso-ciational decline, one is struck by the presence of self-interest. The National Organization for Women is, among other things, about equity and equality in the workplace, the courts, and society. The American Association of Retired Persons is, along with other issues, about health, finances, and vocational opportunities. Perhaps this is what the cops saw when they began to put together community policing projects in noncommunities, like Times Square. Perhaps they encountered not the traditional community of close neighbors and white picket fences, but a community of self-interest. Evidently, that was enough community for their purposes and for their projects to work.
We, too, may have similar issues in organizations as we seek to explore community. We have one hurdle out of the way already. Unlike the Red Cross or the Boy Scouts, we already have our membership in place—they are our employees, and I have speculated earlier on the many forms of glue that operate to hold them together. Perhaps our greatest challenge is to educate them as to why occupational fraud is in their self-interest, and is not just a management issue.
CHAPTER 1 1
Theories of Social Deviance
Some recent research in the area of social control suggests there may be powerful evolutionary traits in the human psyche that not only motivate altruistic and selfless behavior, such as that seen in disasters and accidents, but may also provide motivation to punish cheating, even if it is not directly threatening. Writing of this research, conducted by Dr. Ernst Fehr of the University of Zurich and Dr. Simon Gachter of the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, one observer commented that new avenues of social science research may indicate that there is a tendency among people to punish those who cheat, even when the cheating in question does not affect them personally.1 Such research is worthy of further investigation if we are to better understand the motivations and perceptions of our organizational peers in our search for better fraud deterrence strategies.