Purpose – The wave of regulatory reforms in European telecoms and electricity industries has had an important impact on the structure of the state as well as of corporations. The purpose of this paper is to explore the establishment of these regulatory organizations at the state and corporate levels within a unified theoretical framework, that is grounded in the politics of regulation. Design/methodology/approach – The case selection includes governance structures at the state and corporate levels in 16 European countries in both telecoms and electricity. Findings – The data reveal that regulatory agencies exist in both telecoms and electricity sectors in all 16 countries under study, with the notable exception of Switzerland's electricity sector. At the same time, business corporate reforms were also evident, mainly via the creation of corporate regulatory offices at the headquarters of the firms. These departments, which redefine the patterns of responsibility within the corporation and have played the leading role in the negotiations with the external regulatory environment. Originality/value – This paper strives to overcome the tendency in the scholarly literature to look only at one or the other aspect of the growth of regulatory development and therefore also to offer a narrow understanding of the growth of regulation. It asserts that the commonalities in the expansion of autonomous regulatory agencies and corporate regulatory departments suggest that the growth in the regulatory professionalization of the state and of business corporations reflects the changing nature of capitalist economy and society and the rise of a new global order of “regulatory capitalism”.
International Journal of Organizational Analysis – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 26, 2011
Keywords: Regulation; Regulatory agencies; Business political strategies; Corporate regulatory departments; Liberalization; Deregulation