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Robert A. Kagan

University of California, Berkeley

Socio-legal explanations of law-abidingness in regulated business enterprises, as well as individuals, point to three basic motivational factors; fear of detection and legal punishment; concern about the economic and political consequences of acquiring a bad reputation among customers, employees, politicians, journalists, and social advocacy organizations; and an internalized sense of duty, that is, the desire to conform to learned norms or acquired beliefs about right and wrong, such as law-abidingness or responsible business behavior. In this paper, we will draw on three research projects of our own, as well as published studies by other scholars, to explore the interaction of these variables in shaping compliance and beyond compliance behavior by business firms.

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