We examine the efficacy of government regulation on a firm's product. We draw on the behavioural approach of organization research in order to understand the micromechanisms whereby the regulatory intervention process affects corporate operation. We suggest that while government investigations may limit the improvements in product quality by distracting a firm's attention, this unintended outcome depends on the extent to which the firm engages in a substantive problem-solving process with the regulator during an investigation process. A longitudinal analysis of the US government's investigation into motor vehicle engine production offers overall support for our argument. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications that our findings present to learning theory and institutional literature.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Business and International Management
- Public Administration
- Management of Technology and Innovation