There are many theories of crime causation, but in large groups, these theories are often narrowed significantly, as most organized criminal groups have similar goals. The criminality of persons in organized crime differs from that of conventional criminals because their organizational affiliation gives them credentialing and networking that facilitates cooperation that takes place with criminals, which allows them to commit crimes of a different variety and on a larger scale than their less organized colleagues.
There are eight attributes of Organized Crime include a lack of political goals, limited membership, a hierarchical structure, a subculture which perpetuates itself through violence and is governed by its unique set of rules. The owners and workers are related and the structure is informal and kinship based. If the business expands a formal hierarchy is a necessary component, as are having skilled people within the group and divided labor therein: there will be extensive written rules and regulations, and directives will be via the hierarchy.
The use of the telephone must be limited, and written communication is avoided. Information is transmitted on an intimate basis. Lengthy chains of command are impractical for organized crime, and this limits the span of control. A patron provides economic aid and protection against both the legal and illegal exaction of authority. The patron acts as a power broker between the client and the wider society, both legitimate and illegitimate.
An organized crime patron will have control over a certain area or organization. He will have available a network of informants and connections; He is in a position to fence large amounts of stolen goods; He will act as a center for information; He can provide firearms and autos and other items necessary for conventional criminal activity. An organizational affiliation can enhance the ability of a criminal to engage in illegal activities because if they run activities with affiliated regions or markets, the risk of being shut down entirely is reduced and profit increased.
Academics feel an organized crime is a crime in which there is more than one offender, and the offenders are and intend to remain associated with one another for the purpose of committing crimes while researchers and the government defines it as any group of persons that has a formal structure and an objective to gain more income through illegal activities. Such organizations can keep their position through violence, corrupt public officials, extortion, and generally have a significant impact on the people in their locales, region, or the country as a whole.