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The culture within an organisation determines how it operates and responds to internal and external challenges, regardless of how strong the corporate strategy is. This is one of the reasons why it is important that businesses put strengthening their culture on the agenda; not least because both employees and the company stand to lose from an unhealthy corporate culture. An unhealthy culture impedes job satisfaction on the part of employees but also the performance of the business as a whole.

Tolerance threshold for inappropriate behaviour shifting

A clear trend has been visible for a number of years now in the tolerance threshold with regard to inappropriate behaviour. As a result, large and small scandals within companies regularly emerge in the media and executives and regulators are publicly called to account about the culture and conduct within their organisations. Due to the increased focus on culture and behaviour, it is therefore important for a company to ensure a healthy and stimulating culture in which there is as little scope as possible for inappropriate behaviour. And when inappropriate behaviour does take place, it is important to establish not only who is involved and what has taken place, but also how it could have happened and what needs to change in order to prevent similar behaviour in the future.

Investigations into appropriate and inappropriate behaviour

Our investigation approach is based on a study by KPMG partner and professor Muel Kaptein into 150 cases of inappropriate behaviour. This research reveals that human behaviour is influenced by eight cultural dimensions. The figure below represents those cultural dimensions in a model. The cultural dimensions influence people’s motivation, loyalty, integrity, inspiration and standards. To the extent that the eight cultural dimensions are more developed and anchored within an organisation, employees will behave more appropriately and less inappropriate behaviour will take place. We have been using the method of the eight cultural dimensions for over 25 years to investigate appropriate and inappropriate behaviour within companies.

Promoting appropriate behaviour

Through our investigations, we shed light on the role of culture in the occurrence and continuation of inappropriate behaviour, for example after an incident. Companies often believe that satisfactorily handling an incident is all that is required. However, our experience shows that alongside the individual motivations, the broader environment within which a person operates also influences their behaviour.  With our approach, we reveal deeper-lying causes of conduct lacking in integrity and are able to explain and predict integrity risks. Our approach can consist of, for example, conducting an integrity culture measurement, interactive group sessions and drawing up a report/improvement plan aimed at strengthening the integrity climate.

Through our approach – transparent, committed and motivating – we help you achieve the ultimate goal: promoting desirable behaviour and preventing and responding to inappropriate behaviour in the specific context of a company. 

Direct access to forensic experts

KPMG Forensic was established in the Netherlands in 1993 and has a worldwide network of professionals specialising in providing services to support customers in order to achieve the highest possible levels of integrity. At the same time, we help customers control the costs and risks arising from disputes, investigations and enforcement by providing support in prevention, detection and response to fraud, abuses and different forms of misconduct.

Our team is made up professionals in the fields of accounting, investigation, risk management, technology, integrity and compliance. These disciplines work together closely in order to answer your questions in the most appropriate way. We support firms with tailored innovative solutions. Thanks to our years of experience, we are effective in the support we deliver to companies and we are able to offer the insights they need, even in highly complex and/or sensitive cases.

More information? Contact our forensic specialists

Heleen Hoynck van Papendrecht
Partner Forensic
+31 20 656 7797


Paul Hulshof
Director Forensic
+31 20 656 8610