The Role of Managerial Self-Efficacy in Corporate Compliance with the Law

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Bandura's (1986) social cognitive theory is proposed as an alternative theoretical framework from which to view the role of managerial cognitions in determining corporate compliance with the law. A first test is made of the usefulness of the construct of managerial self-efficacy in predicting compliance. Data were drawn from interviews with 410 chief executives of small organizations. The predictive utility of self-efficacy is tested with three compliance measures: a self-assessed compliance measure, a government-assessed compliance measure taken at the same time as the self-efficacy measure, and a government-assessed compliance measure taken after a 2-year time lapse. After taking into account a number of significant background variables and making a distinction between self-efficacy beliefs and control beliefs, self-efficacy was found to be significantly related to compliance in all cases. The implications of these results for the regulatory process are discussed.

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