Mixed Motives: Economic, Social, and Normative Motivations in Business Compliance
35 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2013 Last revised: 20 Feb 2014
Date Written: October 4, 2012
This article develops theoretical understanding of the motives of business firms and their managers for compliance. First, we develop a typology to conceptualize and measure business motives relevant to compliance behavior. We distinguish between three categories of motives: economic, social, and normative. We hypothesize, however, that business firms and their managers do not divide into types motivated exclusively by singular priorities. We expect each firm to hold a constellation of plural motives. Moreover, we expect that economic and social motives are more alike between regulatees within the same regulatory regime than normative motives. Second, we conduct a preliminary test of the plausibility of our typology of motives and our theory of constellations of plural motives using data from a survey of the thousand biggest companies in Australia. Finally, we conclude that the path from fundamental interests or motives to behavior is filled with constraints and contingent factors at the individual, organizational, and structural levels.
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