Assistant Professor Ruthanne Huising (Desautels Faculty of Management) and and Susan S. Silbey (MIT) have won a Regulation & Governance prize for the best article published in Volume 5 (2011) of the journal for their paper entitled, "Governing the Gap: Forging Safe Science Through Relational Regulation."
Using data from a long-term ethnographic study, this paper shows what organizational 'best practices' actually look like in regulated organizations that conscientiously strive to implement environmental, health, and safety regulations in a sensible manner. Huising and Silbey reconceive the gap between regulations and their enactment as the space where much regulatory action occurs. This allows them to ask what specific practices allow regulatory workers to manage that gap and what conditions are necessary for these practices to develop. Their careful, detailed analysis of the halting, uncertain problem-solving work of regulatory coordinators shows us just how hard it is to do regulation right and reminds us that the challenges of regulation arise not just from regulatee recalcitrance but also from the intractability of many regulatory problems. They argue that apprehending relational interdependencies is a key part of solving regulatory problems.
The selection panel was composed of the editors, Prof. Carol A. Heimer (Northwestern University), Prof. Robert A. Kagan (University of California, Berkeley), and Prof. David Levi-Faur (Hebrew University).
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