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Review: An HR Guide to Workplace Fraud


Title: An HR Guide to Workplace Fraud
Author: Comer and Stephens
Publisher: Gower Publishing Limited
ISBN: 0566085550
Price: £85.00
Reviewer: Jonathan Senior

This is an intimidating and meaty looking volume with a rather austere looking grey and brown cover. However, appearances can be deceptive.

It provides a useful guide for the busy manager to combat workplace fraud and deception. Covering such diverse areas as the functioning of the human brain to the handling of CV’s, forms and the like (70% of CVs are deceptive by the way).

To say that it is a pick up and “dip into” book is an understatement.

It is made up almost entirely of charts, tables and bullet point summaries. Initially, this made me feel almost “seasick” as I tried to navigate my way through it. At least one summary table for instance consists of nothing but references to other pages rendering its presence virtually meaningless. The mixture of italics, headings and embolded text also could prove annoying and off putting.

Thankfully, these are intersperse with readable summaries and whats more ones which are relevant to modern life. Amongst the “stars” of the case studies are OJ Simpson, Bill Clinton, Neil & Christine Hamilton, as well as numerous other anonymous anecdotal stories. These are on the whole readable and as with most people working in this area, told in an ironic manner and with occasional acidic humour.

The sections on the use of tenses used by fraudsters when they speak would be particularly useful for example to the general manager going through an interview transcript for example but more specialist staff and investigators will have had proper training.

Perhaps the authors recognise the influence of the internet over reading styles as this is a useful volume which can easily be skimmed although for a book of this nature, a more comprehensive index than the 10 pages would have made this book more essential than useful. There is a list of mind maps and flowcharts at the front however.

Overall a useful addition to the office library and one which I would use (and I bet it is good for setting interview questions…)

Jonathan Senior is the Managing Director of Sharp End Training


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