Encyclopedia of Corporate Social Responsibility

2013 Edition
| Editors: Samuel O. Idowu, Nicholas Capaldi, Liangrong Zu, Ananda Das Gupta

Compliance/Legal Compliance

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-28036-8_353



In the context of business ethics, it is generally assumed that business ethics begins where the law ends (Crane and Matten 2007). Using the notion that a stakeholder of a business is such if it can both influence and be influenced by business (Freeman 1984), government is considered a key stakeholder as it “is involved in issuing laws regulating business practice” (Crane and Matten 2007, p. 456). Regulation can be defined as:

rules that are issued by governmental actors and other delegated authorities to constrain, enable, or encourage particular business behaviours. Regulation includes rule definitions, laws, mechanisms, processes, sanctions and incentives. (Crane and Matten 2007, p. 458)

Compliance/legal compliance, then, can be defined as a set of processes and procedures within a specific program to ensure adherence to government regulation and laws.


Governments act as the...

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References and Readings

  1. Collins, D. A. (2008). Diligent oversight of legal compliance: A four-step guide. The Corporate Governance Advisor (September/October).Google Scholar
  2. Crane, A., & Matten, D. (2007). Business ethics (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Fiorelli, P. (2007). Beyond compliance? Journal of Health Care Compliance, July, 21–24, 69–71.Google Scholar
  4. Ford, C. (2008). New governance, compliance, and principles-based securities regulation. American Business Law Journal, 45(1), 1–60.Google Scholar
  5. Freeman, R. E. (1984). Strategic management: A stakeholder approach. London: Pitman Publishing.Google Scholar
  6. Frulla, D. E., & Rubin, C. A. (2007). Financial institution compliance with government ethics laws. Community Banker, March.Google Scholar
  7. Paine, L. S. (1994). Managing for organizational integrity. Harvard Business Review, 72(2), 106–117.Google Scholar
  8. Parker, C. (2000). The ethics of advising regulatory compliance: Autonomy or interdependence? Journal of Business Ethics, 28(4), 339–351.Google Scholar
  9. Treviño, L., Weaver, G., Gibson, D., & Toffler, B. L. (1999). Managing ethics and legal compliance. California Management Review, 41(2), 131.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Law, Politics and SociologyUniversity of SussexBrightonUK