Patterns of compliance with soft regulation in Italian listed companies

  • Pietro PrevitaliEmail author
  • Paola Cerchiello
Original Article


The aim of this paper is to identify some clusters of companies which represent and classify different forms of compliance with soft regulation and the comply-or-explain principle. The analysis was conducted through the administration of a structured questionnaire to a sample of compliance officers from 102 companies listed on the Italian stock market. Our results identify three different clusters of companies with different patterns of compliance characterised by distinct forms of regulation conformity. The first cluster of companies called “regulation adherents” favour a clear and explicit application of compliance, the second cluster called “regulation dissenters” favour the “explain” principle and show compliance values below the sample average, while the third cluster called “regulation dissenters with balanced task orientation and an independent supervisory unit” fall between the first two clusters. Our study gives a contribution to corporate governance literature, with the aim of contributing to both the studies focused on the measurement of code compliance and the studies focused on identification of different patterns of code conformity. This paper extends the literature related to compliance and makes a relevant step towards the identification of principles and practices related to an innovative and unique application of the anti-corruption system based on the comply-or-explain principle.


Compliance Comply-or-explain Soft regulation Supervisory unit Anti-corruption 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and Management SciencesUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly

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