Competitive advantage through safety compliance: Smaller firm responses to changes in the Australian occupational health and safety regulatory context
28th Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference: Reshaping Management for Impact
Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference
School of Business / Centre for Innovative Practice
Smaller firms are often viewed as resistant to regulation due to cost burdens. However, evidence indicates that for some compliance is beneficial under certain conditions. Drawing on data on attitudes and responses of smaller firm owner-managers to changes in Australia’s harmonising work health and safety context we report on smaller firms’ responses to these changes. Despite uncertainty due to incomplete harmonisation, many owner-managers viewed safety compliance as important and necessary to do business. Those with negative views still linked positive safety performance to business outcomes. We categorise smaller firms’ responses and in this sample most are Positive Responders. We suggest ways forward for policy-makers to support smaller firms in complying with occupational health and safety regulation.