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69 Rutgers U.L. Rev. 495 (2016-2017)
Corporate Compliance as a Problem of Cultural Motion

handle is hein.journals/rutlr69 and id is 515 raw text is: 


                   IN CORPORATE   COMPLIANCE

                           Greg  Urban*

       The  culture concept has taken on an explanatory role in
   popular media  accounts of corporate misconduct, from Enron in
   the early 2000s  to the recent Volkswagen emissions-cheating
   scandal.  However,  the  concept, from   its origins in  the
   Enlightenment  philosophy of Immanuel Kant  at the end of the
   eighteenth century  through  its transformations within  the
   discipline of anthropology during the twentieth century, has
   continued  to undergo refinement. This Article outlines recent
   developments in culture theory, focusing on one novel approach
   to culture as a form of motion. This approach views culture as
   propelled, retarded, and altered in its movement through the
   world  by four classes of force: inertial, entropic, metacultural,
   and  interest-based. I argue that the approach illuminates the
   problem  of corporate compliance. True compliance occurs when
   the force of an explicitly formulated regulation-a metacultural
   force-is brought to bear on conduct. Much of what appears to be
   compliance  in this true sense is actually habitual cultural
   practice, driven by inertia. An important source of metacultural
   force inside the corporation is the coherence of its regulations
   and  internal motivations, that is, its ethos. Correspondingly, the
   sources of non-compliance include ethos incoherence. The Article
   concludes  with  two  corporation-external sources of  ethos
   incoherence-legal  theories regarding corporations as existing
   exclusively for the benefit of shareholders, and economic theories
   emphasizing  the self-regulatory character of markets and the

     * Professor of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania


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