In a two part article Allan DeKaye discusses 5 types of greed and how they play out in the healthcare industry. Although this article deals with healthcare specifically, his observations apply across disciplines.
Undisciplined Greed relates to an individual who is not interested in profit, but wants to satisfy curiosity. This includes reading of others email, viewing medical records, and other seemingly innocent security breaches. Unfortunately people willing to commit these acts usually become enticed by the possibility for financial gain, leading to the second stage of greed.
Opportunistic Greed occurs when someone who has committed acts of undisciplined greed is tempted by the incentive of financial gain. Often this takes the form of the sale of private information including medical records, social security information, or other private information.
Corporate Greed involves V and C level executives exploiting “loopholes” usually out of a sense of misguided altruism. Surprisingly this is most often seen in Not-For-Profit organizations where a lack of funding can push executives to use “creative accounting”.
Scheme Greed is different because it is not situational in nature. Undisciplined, Opportunistic, and Corporate greed usually involve a set of circumstances that push people to do things they may not normally do. Schemes though, are devised intentionally for the express purpose of stealing and profiting from information or committing outright fraud.
Organized Greed takes schemes to the next level. Often fraudsters will involve family members in their plans, training them to handle fraudulent claims, sell information, and commit various other criminal acts creating a network that is much more difficult to pin down than an individual organization.
DeKaye suggests several methods to combat the various forms of greed within an organization. By employing these methods in your organization you can greatly decrease the occurrence of greed related issues.
Drilling can be a very effective deterrent against undisciplined and opportunistic greed. By reminding employees what is and what is not acceptable you imply someone is watching and waiting for a breach to happen. This handily nips curiosity in the bud, and gives opportunists cause to rethink their plans.
Behavioral Assessments offer tremendous insight into an employee or job candidate. Using a behavioral assessment you can quickly check for behaviors and attitudes that may indicate risk. For example someone who is very open, rebellious, casual, and open-minded will be much more likely to be tempted by undisciplined greed.
Background and Credit Checks can help organizations to discover risk factors for greed. People who have committed crimes in the past are obviously much more likely to do so again. People who are in the midst of a financial crisis are also more likely to succumb to opportunistic greed.
Protocols and Processes should be put in place to monitor employee access to sensitive data. Even employees who have the right to access sensitive data should be monitored for frequency of access. For example a billing clerk who accesses 150 records per day, should have a good explanation as to why they accessed 500 records in a similar time period. While this kind of monitoring may seem burdensome to the employee, it serves to protect them as well. What if that billing employee’s account had been hacked? IT would be able to remedy the situation fairly quickly without the employee necessarily becoming suspect.
Greed and Bad Behavior have plagued businesses since the beginning of time. Both situational and intentional acts of greed can harm or even destroy your business. By utilizing better screening techniques and stricter protocols you can protect yourself from most if not all forms of greed and its effects on your bottom line.