Managing Food Safety and Hygiene

Managing Food Safety and Hygiene

Governance and Regulation as Risk Management

Bridget M. Hutter

Food safety and hygiene is of critical importance to us all, yet, as periodic food crises in various countries each year show we are all dependent on others in business and public regulation to ensure that the food we consume in the retailing and hospitality sectors is safe. Bridget Hutter considers the understandings of risk and regulation held by those in business and considers the compliance pressures on managers and owners, and how these relate to understandings of risk and uncertainty.

Chapter 6: Business Risk Regulation: Inside the Business Organization

Bridget M. Hutter

Subjects: development studies, agricultural economics, economics and finance, agricultural economics, environment, agricultural economics, disasters, law - academic, health law, politics and public policy, public policy, regulation and governance


A central ambition of modern regulatory regimes is to emphasize risk regulation as the responsibility of business and to constitutively influence the risk management practices of business organizations. This is encapsulated by Coglianese and Nash (2001, 2006) when they use the term ‘management based strategies’ to refer to regimes of enforced self-regulation, thus emphasizing the fact that they are ‘used by those who are outside an organization to change the management practices and behaviour of those on the inside’ (2006, p. 15, emphasis in original). Modern regulation is a hybrid form of regulation which explicitly seeks to maximize the resources and capacity of businesses to self-regulate while simultaneously providing a degree of state oversight and control of these efforts (see Chapter 1). As Coglianese and Nash (2006) observe, the ambition is to leverage the private sector and also to give it flexibility to determine for itself how best to manage the risks it generates. This is one important reason to focus on what those inside the business know about their risk management system. Another reason to spotlight this area is because previous studies have shown that a company’s internal organization and management are important influences on their work practices. Howard-Grenville et al. (2008), for example, found that variations in managerial incentives, organizational identity and organizational self-monitoring were all strongly related to differences in what they term the ‘internal licence to operate’. These authors argue that this licence is shaped by internal factors such as leadership and managerial commitment to risk...

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