There’s an interesting note by John Braithwaite, published in 1985, cautioning that

For these reasons of self-protection and unnecessary data loss, I would strongly suggest that sociologists doing qualitative corporate crime research, or any other work which threatens the repute of powerful corporate interests, should always proceed with more than one interviewer.

Apparently, publication of his work Corporate Crime in the Pharmaceutical Industry was “delayed for two years… as a result of disputes with the publisher’s solicitors over questions of libel.” It seems that a significant amount of data was ultimately excluded from the manuscript.

I recommend the article for its insights into the practical psychology of (off-the-record) corporate crime confessions.


John Braithwaite, “Corporate Crime Research: Why Two Interviewers are Needed”, Sociology, 19, 1985, 136-138.

John Braithwaite, Corporate Crime in the Pharmaceutical Industry, (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984) This out-of-print manuscript has been made available as a pdf by the author, here.