Compliance Processes in the Construction and Hospitality Sectors

This project, carried out in collaboration with the Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences, Kunming University of Science and Engineering School of Law, Australia National University, and the Free University in Amsterdam, seeks to understand what processes shape compliance in China. It is based on the idea that compliance is a process and not just an end result. It seeks to unearth this process by studying key actors both within the regulated firm as well as outside of it that shape behavior in relation to the relevant legal rules studied.

The project looks at two highly different cases: worker safety compliance in construction sites and food and health safety in the hospitality sector. Using unique access both to relevant state regulators as well as inside selected firms and projects, the researchers involved will carry out in-depth fieldwork to both observe and question these processes. As such, the research maps what happens during on-site inspections and how communication between the regulator and firm management shapes compliance behavior. It also looks at internal compliance management processes, studying internal training, social norms, and inspections.

Finally, researchers will look at the behavior and compliance motivations of individual workers involved. This is the first study that combines a multi-actor and multi-process view of compliance with direct relevance both to public and private compliance managers. The results from this Chinese study are contrasted with existing ideas about compliance processes and motivations from U.S. and other relevant OECD and emerging market contexts.

The study is conducted by Long Institute fellows Li Na and Wu Yunmei, and supervised by Long Institute academic director Benjamin van Rooij, Free University of Amsterdam professor Wim Huisman, and Australia National University research fellow Jeroen van der Heijden.

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