A Disposition-Based Fraud Model: Theoretical Integration and Research Agenda

Vasant Raval

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


For several decades, most discussion on financial fraud has centered on the fraud triangle, which has evolved over time through various extensions and re-interpretations. While this has served the profession well, the articulation of the human side of the act is indirect and diffused. To address this limitation, this research develops a model to explain the role of human desires, intentions, and actions in indulgence of, or resistance to, the act of financial fraud. Evidence from religion, philosophy, sociology, neurology, behavioral economics, and social psychology is integrated to develop and support an alternative fraud model, called the disposition-based fraud model (DFM). To articulate the model, its two primary components, disposition and temptation, are further developed and extended. Although the DFM is generally applicable to any act of fraud, this paper focuses on executive fraud. The similarities and differences between the DFM and extant fraud models are discussed. Importantly, in light of the DFM, a re-interpretation of the fraud triangle is made to improve our understanding of the human element in it. Additionally, potential implications of the model for corporate governance are discussed, suggestions for further research are offered, and the DFM’s strengths and limitations are noted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-763
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Law


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