skip navigation

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

  NCJ Number: NCJ 220693   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
  Title: Why Do Corporations Obey Environmental Law? Assessing Punitive and Cooperative Strategies of Corporate Crime Control, Final Technical Report
  Document URL: PDF 
  Dataset URL: DATASET 1
  Author(s): Sally S. Simpson ; Joel Garner ; Carole Gibbs
  Date Published: 2007
  Page Count: 216
  Annotation: This study compared the effectiveness of formal legal sanctions and regulatory persuasion in dealing with companies that fail to comply with environmental law.
  Abstract: Analysis of company-level data found little evidence of a deterrent effect for either punitive or cooperative intervention strategies. Firms with the worst environmental records were inspected and sanctioned more often, with little effect on company reoffending. Larger companies (those with more employees) and firms that owned more facilities were inspected more often. Inspectors adopted both cooperative and punitive strategies as they interacted with regulated companies. Punitive strategies for corporate crime control regarding environmental offenses emphasize the use of formal legal sanctions in order to deter current and future offenders. Cooperative crime control strategies emphasize the use of regulatory persuasion in order to facilitate and enhance legal compliance. The latter strategies emphasize prosocial norms, informal sanction threats, and intraorganizational control in order to motivate firm compliance. Facility ownership was positively associated with more severe sanctions. More profitable companies had better environmental records. Formal legal sanctions and compliance strategies that built on ethical evaluations of managers and effective internal compliance systems had a substantial effect on managerial decisionmaking. Prosocial environmental actions by managers, such as responsiveness to terrorism threats and a strategy of "over-compliance" were more likely when there was shared agreement and consistent communication within the company about environmental goals. The study used a triangulated research strategy that incorporated interviews with environmental inspectors, secondary data analysis, and a vignette survey designed to provide information on the relative merits of strategies that targeted companies that had failed to comply with environmental regulation, specifically, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System as authorized by the Clean Water Act. 41 tables, 65 references, and appended details on research methodology
  Main Term(s): Criminology
  Index Term(s): Punishment ; Environmental laws ; Regulations compliance ; Deterrence effectiveness ; Corporate crimes ; Environmental offenses ; Corporate self-regulation ; Corporate sentencing ; NIJ final report
  Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
  Grant Number: 2001-IJ-CX-0020
  Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
  Type: Report (Study/Research)
  Country: United States of America
  Language: English
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.