Title

Competitive advantage through safety compliance: Smaller firm responses to changes in the Australian occupational health and safety regulatory context

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

28th Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference: Reshaping Management for Impact

Publisher

Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference

School

School of Business / Centre for Innovative Practice

RAS ID

18331

Comments

Originally published as: Mayson, S. Barratt, R., & Bahn, S. (2014). Competitive advantage through safety compliance: Smaller firm responses to changes in the Australian occupational health and safety regulatory context. Paper presented at the 28th Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference: Reshaping Management for Impact, 3 – 5 December 2014, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.

Abstract

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.

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