Skip to main content

General Deterrence and Corporate Environmental Behavior

Buy Article:

$51.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


This research addresses the assumption that “general deterrence” is an important key to enhanced compliance with regulatory laws. Through a survey of 233 firms in several industries in the United States, we sought to answer the following questions: (1) When severe legal penalties are imposed against a violator of environmental laws, do other companies in the same industry actually learn about such “signal cases”? (2) Does knowing about “signal cases” change firms’ compliance-related behavior? It was found that only 42 percent of respondents could identify the “signal case,” but 89 percent could identify some enforcement actions against other firms, and 63 percent of firms reported having taken some compliance-related actions in response to learning about such cases. Overall, it is concluded that because most firms are in compliance already (for a variety of other reasons), this form of “explicit general deterrence” knowledge usually serves not to enhance the perceived threat of legal punishment, but as reassurance that compliance is not foolish and as a reminder to check on the reliability of existing compliance routines.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2005

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Partial Open Access Content
Partial Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more