Explaining Compliance
Show Less

Explaining Compliance

Business Responses to Regulation

Edited by Christine Parker and Vibeke Lehmann Nielsen

Explaining Compliance consists of sixteen specially commissioned chapters by the world’s leading empirical researchers, examining whether and how businesses comply with regulation that is designed to affect positive behaviour changes.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 9: Strategizing Compliance and Enforcement: Responsive Regulation and Beyond

Neil Gunningham


Neil Gunningham INTRODUCTION Effective enforcement is vital to the successful implementation of social legislation, as legislation that is not enforced rarely fulfils its social objectives. This chapter examines the question of how the enforcement task might be best conducted in order to achieve policy outcomes that are effective (in terms of reducing the incidence of social harm) and efficient (cost the least to both duty holders and the regulator), while also maintaining community confidence. It begins by summarizing the two strategies that for many years dominated the debate about enforcement strategy, that is, whether the more appropriate strategy for regulators is to ‘punish or persuade.’ Recognizing the deficiencies of this dichotomy, this chapter explores a number of more recent approaches that have proved increasingly influential on the policy debate. Such an examination must begin with John Braithwaite’s seminal contribution in favor of ‘responsive regulation.’ His approach conceives of regulation in terms of a dialogic culture in which regulators signal to industry their commitment to escalate their enforcement response whenever lower levels of intervention fail (Ayres and Braithwaite, 1992). Under this model regulators begin by assuming virtue (to which they respond with cooperative measures), but when their expectations are disappointed they respond with progressively punitive or coercive strategies until the regulatee conforms. This approach is taken further by Gunningham and Grabosky (1998) in Smart Regulation. ‘Smart regulation’ accepts Braithwaite’s arguments as to the benefits of escalating responses up an ‘enforcement pyramid’ and the virtues of expanding regulation beyond the dyadic (state)...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.