Managing in the Regulatory Thicket: Regulation Legitimacy and Expertise

Anna A. Amirkhanyan, Kenneth J. Meier, Laurence J. O'Toole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


Although the influence of government regulation on organizations is undeniable, empirical research in this field is scarce. This article investigates how the understanding of and attitudes toward government regulation among public, nonprofit, and for-profit managers affect organizational performance, using U.S. nursing homes as the empirical setting. Findings suggest that managers’ perceptions of regulation legitimacy—views of regulation fairness, inspectors’ effectiveness, and internal utility of the mandates—positively affect service quality. Subgroup analysis suggests that managers’ views of regulation matter in nonprofit and for-profit organizations but not in public organizations. In nonprofit homes, performance declines when managers report higher regulatory expertise—better knowledge of the regulatory standards. In for-profit facilities, frequent communication with regulators lowers quality. These findings suggest that the regulated entities’ views of government regulation are central to their success, which necessitates improvements in the regulatory process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-394
JournalPublic administration review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


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