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Structural Correlates of Affirmative Action Compliance

Abstract

In this paper a structural-contingency model drawn from the innovation literature is applied to the particular adaptive situation created by Affirmative Action requirements. If the initiation stage activities are essential to an effective adaptation, it is argued that organic structural characteristics will be associated with success. In situations where the need for, and alternative proposals for, change are known, success will depend on the performance of adoption and implementation stage activities. Therefore, it is argued that mechanistic characteristics will be associated with success. Affirmative Action compliance is decomposed into six behavioral dimensions, two of which require intitiation stage activities and several of which require adoption and implementation only. In general, the model is supported among a sample of small manufacturing firms. It is concluded that formalization is the predominant structural characteristic associated with Affirmative Action compliance, a result which may be generalizable to other regulatory contexts.
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