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Reframing and Reforming the Securities and Exchange Commission: Lessons from Literature on Change Leadership


Joan MacLeod Heminway


University of Tennessee College of Law

May 31, 2010

Villanova Law Review, Vol. 55, 2010
University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 125

Abstract:     
As a reaction to perceived and actual regulatory failures at the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC), from mistakes that contributed to the financial crisis to the Bernard Madoff affair, the SEC has been engaged in an operational transformation process. The growing literature on management and leadership in times of change -- change leadership literature -- offers a number of potentially valuable lenses through which we may assess reform at the SEC.

With the thought that securities regulators and others may learn valuable lessons about the SEC’s restructuring and reorganization from experts in change leadership, this Article explores a selected group of principles from change leadership literature. These principles are then mapped to recent and current changes at the SEC. The resulting analysis offers certain positive observations but also allows for certain critiques of, questions about, and advice concerning the processes by which change leaders are selected and institutional reform is undertaken at a federal agency. As a result, the Article highlights certain strengths of and exposes possible weaknesses in SEC reform efforts.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 35

Keywords: Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, change leadership, change management, leadership, agency, institution, reform, Kotter

JEL Classification: K20, K22, L32, M10, P11, P17

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Date posted: October 6, 2010 ; Last revised: July 22, 2011

Suggested Citation

Heminway, Joan MacLeod, Reframing and Reforming the Securities and Exchange Commission: Lessons from Literature on Change Leadership (May 31, 2010). Villanova Law Review, Vol. 55, 2010; University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 125. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1688147

Contact Information

Joan MacLeod Heminway (Contact Author)
University of Tennessee College of Law ( email )
1505 West Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996
United States
865-974-3813 (Phone)
865-974-0681 (Fax)

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