Title: Patterns of enforcement: examining the interplay between firms, media and regulators

Authors: David Eduardo Cavazos; Karen Diane Walker Patterson; Marvin Washington

Addresses: Anderson Schools of Management University of New Mexico MSC05-3090 Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA ' Anderson Schools of Management University of New Mexico, MSC05-3090 Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA ' University of Alberta, W1-16E Van Vliet Centre, Edmonton AB T6G 2H9, Canada

Abstract: This research examines the interplay between regulators, media and firms by showing how public bureaucracies maintain institutional control in light of varying degrees of firm compliance and media coverage. Analysis of US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) automobile crash tests reveals a push-pull process in which increased regulatory activity, sparked by media coverage and firm inspection performance, leads to increased firm participation in regulatory processes, which in turn, decreases regulatory activity. Results additionally illustrate how inspections modify firm political behaviour; particularly when accompanied by media coverage of regulatory issues. The administration of such inspections illustrates the dynamic nature of the relationship between firms and regulators.

Keywords: regulation; media coverage; firm political activity; National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration; NHTSA; regulatory enforcement; regulatory compliance; USA; United States; public bureaucracy; institutional control; firm compliance; vehicle crash tests; vehicle safety; firm inspections; regulators.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBE.2014.063765

International Journal of Business Environment, 2014 Vol.6 No.3, pp.223 - 245

Received: 01 May 2013
Accepted: 09 May 2013

Published online: 21 Jul 2014 *

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