Formal and Social Enforcement in Response to Individual Versus Corporate Transgressions

23 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2016

See all articles by Uriel Haran

Uriel Haran

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Doron Teichman

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law

Yuval Feldman

Bar-Ilan University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: December 2016

Abstract

Social enforcement of norms governing appropriate business practices, through online and social networks, is regarded as an effective alternative to formal, state‐sponsored enforcement. However, recent research finds that such norms are interpreted differently when applied to individual actors than when applied to corporations. This article finds that this difference transcends to enforcement, and that willingness to actively respond to a transgression depends on both the transgressor's identity and the type of violation. Three studies found that people are reluctant to substitute social enforcement for state‐sponsored action, and that the preference for formal over social action was generally more pronounced when the target of the action was an individual than when the action targeted a corporation. Furthermore, individuals were judged more severely for intentional harms, whereas corporations received higher levels of critique for violations caused by negligent behavior. Our findings suggest that the state may need to exercise caution in outsourcing norm enforcement in commercial relationships.

Suggested Citation

Haran, Uriel and Teichman, Doron and Feldman, Yuval, Formal and Social Enforcement in Response to Individual Versus Corporate Transgressions (December 2016). Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Vol. 13, Issue 4, pp. 786-808, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2871702 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jels.12133

Uriel Haran (Contact Author)

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev ( email )

P.O. Box 653
Beer-Sheva, ----------------- 8410501
Israel
086472776 (Phone)

Doron Teichman

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Scopus
Mount Scopus, IL 91905
Israel

Yuval Feldman

Bar-Ilan University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Faculty of Law
Ramat Gan, 52900
Israel

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