Transforming regulatory requirements into normalized activity

Regulation at the Coalface

Increasingly managers and policy makers are considering how “culture” can improve compliance. In this work, Susan Silbey and Ruthanne show that organizational culture is but one lever for transforming regulatory requirements into normalized activity.

They consider how the coalface of the organization – the daily work, interactions, and decisions of managers and workers – may be altered to align the organization’s activities with regulatory requirements, examining factors such as human agency and subjectivity, authority, expertise, and capabilities as levers.


Focusing on four levers used to achieve compliance in organizations - nudge (individual), bureaucracy (roles, rules and procedures), relational governance (network) and organizational culture (assumptions, values, and artifacts) - they map the range of research on coalface governance, while displaying the assumptions and implications of each lever often embedded in recommendations to policymakers or organizational managers. They offer this continuum of techniques to invite a richer conversation about ways of pursuing compliance in organizations.