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To What Extent Do Third Parties Influence Business Compliance?

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Abstract:

Regulatory scholars have increasingly observed that it is not only public regulatory agencies and official enforcement action that motivate and enforce businesses' compliance with the law; in many situations, certain third parties may have greater capacity and power to motivate and enforce compliance with the law than do official regulatory agencies. This paper examines the extent to which businesses' worries about, and perceptions of pressure from, various third parties influence their internal compliance management activities and moral commitment in relation to complying with the objectives of competition and consumer protection law. Using data from a survey of 999 large Australian businesses, we find that businesses worry a lot about the reactions of a range of third parties including customers, shareholders, employees, and business partners to non-compliance. We find little evidence that these worries have much impact on what businesses actually do. However, perceptions of risk of complaints do influence what they do.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6478.2008.00441.x

Affiliations: 1: Political Science, University of Aarhus, Nordre Ringgade 1, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark, Email: vln@ps.au.dk 2: Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia, Email: c.parker@unimelb.edu.au

Publication date: 2008-09-01

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