Jay A. Sigler and Joseph E. Murphy Interactive Corporate Compliance was one of the most important books on American business to be published in the 1980s. A challenge for the 1990s is to show how the policy in that book can be put into practice. This is the challenge that the present volume seeks to meet.
Interactive corporate compliance is about encouraging the establishment of reliable self-regulatory systems within corporations. Sigler and Murphy propose a kind of social contract between business and government--one in which government scrutiny is reduced in return for self-regulatory vigilance. It is a proposal to move beyond the barren dichotomy between regulation and deregulation. Regulation can involve excessive rigidity and cost, while the deregulation of the Reagan era conduced to both excess and political reversal. Fresh approaches are needed that foster both cooperation and dynamism in the relationship between business and government.
Even though such fresh approaches are not being pursued on a wide scale in the United States, the contributions in this book show that they are possible. It shows that in a decentralized political system, such as that in the United States, with multiple sources of power, regulatory innovations can get a foothold and be tested out in locales as unlikely as Camden County, New Jersey.