Sustainable Governance and Responsive Regulation: The Higher Education Sector and Maritime Industry in Australia
Journal of Sustainability Research
The paper challenges traditional perspectives around the voluntary nature of a corporation's social responsibilities in light of debates around responsive regulation that requires regulatory engagement by salient stakeholders in the processes and outcomes of an organisation's operations in contemporary dynamic environments. In critiquing regulatory reform, the paper highlights conditions and cultures that enhance collaborative practice to support a more holistic appreciation of risk,
... of risk, stakeholder engagement and corporate sustainability outcomes. These factors are seen as relevant to more sustainable governance and to enhancing a social licence to operate for both regulator and regulatees. These insights help shape a dynamic "responsive regulation" model to achieve the objectives of regulatory partnerships for more sustainable governance and organisational outcomes. The model facilitates an exploration of regulatory behaviours, attitudes and cultures in the increasingly marketised higher education sector and maritime industry. These include: the nature of collaborative process in promoting a shared understanding of industry-wide and contextually nuanced pressures on regulators and regulatees; addressing dynamic stakeholder expectations concerning economic, social, environmental and governance activity; the ethics of broad-based stakeholder engagement in identifying and addressing problems; and, means of achieving more holistic action in addressing attendant risks to sustainability of business and regulatory processes. The paper discusses opportunities, in an era of regulatory capitalism, for responsive regulation and associated stakeholder engagement to constitute a significant mechanism whereby more sustainable governance might be achieved.