Division of Public Policy
Dr. Xiaofan Zhao is awarded the Young Scientist Fund by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)
Dr. Xiaofan Zhao is awarded the Young Scientist Fund by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). NSFC awards are among the most prestigious research awards in China, and the Young Scientist Fund is awarded to junior researchers under 35(male)/40 (female). Last year, the overall success rate for this award was 16.2%. Among its eight panels of the award, management science is the only social science-related panel (and the one to which Dr. Zhao applied). The success rate in the management science panel was the second-lowest of all eight panels last year, at 14.9%. Dr. Zhao's study aims to investigate why businesses comply with energy-saving and emissions reduction regulations in China and the mechanisms through which these factors influence their compliance decision-making.
Abstract of the project:
This study aims to investigate why businesses comply with energy-saving and emissions reduction regulations in China and the mechanisms through which these factors influence their compliance decision-making. By uncovering the compliance motivations of businesses, this study also sheds light on government-business-relations in contemporary China. This study extends the empirical context of compliance research from the legal domain to the domain of administrative regulative documents and administrative orders. The principal investigator’s PhD dissertation shows that due to the inherent uncertainties of government requirements and the uncertainty in the use of enforcement tools, businesses perceive a pervasive threat from the government, which serves as a major driver for their compliance with energy conservation and emissions reduction regulation. This study aims to extend and enrich the so-called “pervasive threat” model of compliance developed in the dissertation: given the socioeconomic developments in the Chinese societies in recent years, does the pervasive threat model still hold true? In what context does pervasive threat work as a compliance motivation? In other words, does pervasive threat interact with other factors in driving compliance? This study will collect data on firm-level compliance motivation by field interviews with energy managers from approximately 60 industrial enterprises in Shandong Province, Jiangsu Province, and the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. Interview data will be analyzed through a combination of qualitative methods including the grounded theory, fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA), and case studies. Through investigating the impact of pervasive threat on firm compliance, this study not only contributes to the conventional theories of regulatory compliance, but also provides a new lens through which to observe and assess progress in the rule of law and government-business relations in contemporary China.