University of Canterbury
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Management / Centre for Innovative Practice
Regulatory reform will see the introduction of harmonised Occupational Health and Safety laws across Australia. Here we consider the potential impact of this on smaller firms as the first step in assessing how they may adapt to this regulatory change. We use textual data consisting of recent media and blogs that highlight key stakeholders’ perceptions of the purpose and outcomes of harmonisation on smaller firms. The narratives perpetuate the negative discourse of regulation, not only for smaller firms, but for other key stakeholders. Critical analysis of stakeholders’ views of the effects of harmonisation articulates constraints and possibilities of regulatory change for smaller firms. Recommendations for ways in which smaller firms can be engaged and supported in this change are made.