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Overcoming the Disconnect: Internal Regulation and the Mining Industry

26 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2016  

Neil Gunningham

School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet)

Date Written: October 5, 2016

Abstract

Studies of regulation have given less attention to the instruments, mechanisms and strategies through which a firm which is committed to achieving given social outcomes (whether prescribed by regulation or otherwise) may best succeed in doing so — what we might term internal regulation — than they have to the various external drivers of corporate social behavior. This article examines internal regulation through a case study of one company and the behavior of its managers, employees and contractors at a number of individual sites with regard to one area of social regulation. The case involves BHP Billiton, arguably an exemplar of modern management techniques, and the study concerns the manifest disconnect between the ambitious occupational health and safety strategies, systems and standards established by head office and the actual behavior of individual managers, employees and contractors at site level. While the case is confined to one social issue, the lessons it provides are of broader application, and have implications for the internal regulation initiatives of complex organisations in diverse areas of social regulation.

Keywords: Regulation, Compliance, Health and Safety, Internal Regulation, Management Systems, Safety Culture

JEL Classification: I18

Suggested Citation

Gunningham, Neil, Overcoming the Disconnect: Internal Regulation and the Mining Industry (October 5, 2016). RegNet Research Paper No. 2016/117. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2848608 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2848608

Neil Gunningham (Contact Author)

School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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