PRESENTATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND THE PURSUIT OF REGULATORY LEGITIMACY: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF COMPETITION AND CONSUMER AGENCIES IN THE UNITED KINGDOM AND AUSTRALIA

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

Independent regulatory agencies, faced with multiple and often conflicting demands from regulatory stakeholders, yet operating at arm's length from government, may be under considerable pressure to demonstrate the legitimacy of their decisions and the regime they administer. This article considers how regulators employ presentational strategies to establish and maintain their legitimacy by documenting the findings of a comparative study of two independent agencies responsible for the regulation of trade practices in their respective jurisdictions: the UK Office of Fair Trading and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Its findings demonstrate that presentational activities may be an important means by which regulators give concrete expression to their obligations of transparency, promote the effectiveness of the regime they administer, and publicly demonstrate how their work serves the community. The mass media is relied upon by both agencies as the primary vehicle through which they seek to communicate to their targeted audiences and the public at large, actively seeking to manage the ambivalence that infuses the regulatory enterprise.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274 - 294
JournalPublic Administration
Volume87
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009