- Compliance as process: Work safety in the Chinese construction industry
Benjamin van Rooij
- Award date
- 4 October 2016
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- The Netherlands China Law Centre (NCLC)
China is facing a key challenge of achieving compliance in many regulatory areas. Responding to such issue, this research reports on an exploratory empirical study of how the regulated construction businesses comply with work safety rules in China. Building on the existing literature, it develops a uniquely comprehensive understanding of corporate compliance through integrating three interrelated processes: compliance as processes of responding to external regulatory enforcement pressures, compliance as the internal management processes in the regulated entity, and compliance as the individual decision making processes within the regulated organization. The research then seeks to answer: What are and how do these processes function and influence safety compliance practices in the construction industry? And what are the broader theoretical implications and practical insights? Such an explorative compliance study has been carried out through a qualitative empirical study in M city, China, based on lengthy participant observation and in-depth qualitative interviews. The research generally finds that plural elements, in all three sub-processes, contribute to explain poor performance of safety compliance, including weak external enforcement, fragmented organizational compliance management, individual’s decision making due to operational cost-benefit analysis, blame-shifting inside organization, economic incentives, conflicting political agendas, invisible social influence, and a culture of deviance, which make minor violations normalised in daily practice. The thesis then discusses some theoretical and practical implications. The research limitations as well as insights for future studies are also addressed at the end.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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