Legal Ambiguity and the Politics of Compliance: Affirmative Action Officers' Dilemma
13 Law & Policy 73 (1991)
27 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2014
Date Written: 1991
Equal employment opportunity and affirmative action mandates, like many other laws regulating organizations, do not clearly define what constitutes compliance. Thus compliance depends largely on the initiative and agenda of those persons within organizations who are charged with managing the compliance effort: in the case of civil rights, "affirmative action officers." This paper draws on case studies of affirmative action officers to suggest that the political climate within which affirmative action officers work, together with the officers' interpretations of the law, their role conceptions, and their professional aspirations have important implications for the nature and extent of organizational compliance with law. We conclude that compliance should be understood as a process that evolves over time rather than as a discrete event or non-event.
Keywords: Affirmative Action
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