Exploring Differences: How SMEs Respond to Environmental Regulation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Interview data from a sample of manufacturing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) confirm, at an aggregate level, that traditional regulation is an important driver of environmental behaviour. Further analysis, however, shows that, in addition to this aggregate picture, there are groups of firms that respond to regulation in different ways. Moreover, alongside the aggregate and group level pictures, differences exist across individual firms. Thus, SMEs respond in different ways to regulation, despite there being sufficient similarities across clusters of firms that we can group them thematically into “populations” (or groups of individual firms). These differences are explained by firms having different ‘capacities’ and ‘orientations’, which determine their receptiveness to different regulatory arrangements. This is important for at least three reasons. First, it provides a more sophisticated account of SME regulatory behaviour than existed formerly. Second, it helps us to understand more fully why a one-size-fits-all approach will not work and why specific regulatory measures may underperform. Third, it provides a basis for reshaping approaches so they can better accommodate different rule-following conduct.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationhost publication
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012
Event4th Biennial ECPR Standing Group for Regulatory Governance Conference "New Perspectives on Learning, Regulation and Governance". - University of Exeter
Event duration: 27 Jun 201229 Jun 2012

Conference

Conference4th Biennial ECPR Standing Group for Regulatory Governance Conference "New Perspectives on Learning, Regulation and Governance".
CityUniversity of Exeter
Period27/06/1229/06/12