A Network Approach to Compliance: A Complexity Science Understanding of How Rules Shape Behavior

Journal of Business Ethics 2022, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-022-05128-8

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2022-31

Center for Law & Behavior Research Paper No. 2022-03

57 Pages Posted: 18 May 2022 Last revised: 30 Sep 2022

See all articles by Malouke Esra Kuiper

Malouke Esra Kuiper

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Monique Chambon

National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)

Anne Leonore de Bruijn

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Chris Reinders Folmer

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Elke Olthuis

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Megan Brownlee

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Emmeke Barbara Kooistra

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Adam Fine

Arizona State University (ASU) - School of Criminology & Criminal Justice

Frenk van Harreveld

University of Amsterdam

Gabriela Lusansky

University of Amsterdam - University of Amsterdam Faculty of Law

Benjamin van Rooij

University of California, Irvine School of Law; University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Date Written: May 10, 2022

Abstract

To understand how compliance develops both in everyday and corporate environments, it is crucial to understand how different mechanisms work together to shape individuals’ (non)compliant behavior. Existing compliance studies typically focus on a subset of theories (i.e., rational choice theories, social theories, legitimacy theories, capacity theories, and opportunity theories) to understand how key variables from one or several of these theories shape individual compliance. The present study provides a first integrated understanding of compliance, rooted in complexity science, in which key elements from these theories are considered simultaneously, and their relations to compliance and each other are explored using network analysis. This approach is developed by analyzing online survey data (N = 562) about compliance with COVID-19 mitigation measures. Traditional regression analysis shows that elements from nearly all major compliance theories (except for social theories) are associated with compliance. The network analysis revealed groupings and interconnections of variables that did not track the existing compliance theories and point to a complexity overlooked in existing compliance research. These findings demonstrate a fundamentally different perspective on compliance, which moves away from traditional narrow, non-network approaches. Instead, they showcase a complexity science understanding of compliance, in which compliance is understood as a network of interacting variables derived from different theories that interact with compliance. This points to a new research agenda that is oriented on mapping compliance networks, and testing and modelling how regulatory and management interventions interact with each other and compliance within such networks.

Keywords: Network analysis, Compliance, Complexity science, COVID-19

JEL Classification: K10, K32, K42, C18

Suggested Citation

Kuiper, Malouke Esra and Chambon, Monique and de Bruijn, Anne Leonore and Reinders Folmer, Chris and Olthuis, Elke and Brownlee, Megan and Kooistra, Emmeke Barbara and Fine, Adam and van Harreveld, Frenk and Lusansky, Gabriela and van Rooij, Benjamin and van Rooij, Benjamin, A Network Approach to Compliance: A Complexity Science Understanding of How Rules Shape Behavior (May 10, 2022). Journal of Business Ethics 2022, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-022-05128-8, Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2022-31, Center for Law & Behavior Research Paper No. 2022-03, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4107628 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4107628

Malouke Esra Kuiper

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Monique Chambon

National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) ( email )

Bilthoven
Netherlands

Anne Leonore De Bruijn

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Chris Reinders Folmer

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Elke Olthuis

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Postbus 15654
1001 ND
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland 1001 ND
Netherlands

Megan Brownlee

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Emmeke Barbara Kooistra

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Adam Fine

Arizona State University (ASU) - School of Criminology & Criminal Justice ( email )

411 N. Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85004
United States

Frenk Van Harreveld

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, NE 1018 WB
Netherlands

Gabriela Lusansky

University of Amsterdam - University of Amsterdam Faculty of Law ( email )

Postbus 15654
1001 ND
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland 1001 ND
Netherlands

Benjamin Van Rooij (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

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