Article | Academy of Management Journal | August 2013

Lords of the Harvest: Third-party Influence and Regulatory Approval of Genetically Modified Organisms

by Shon R. Hiatt and Sangchan Park

Abstract

Little is known about the factors that influence regulatory-agency decision making. We posit that regulatory agencies are influenced by the firms they regulate, but not exclusively via dyadic exchanges as is traditionally argued in the regulatory capture and business-government literatures. Instead, regulatory decisions are indirectly shaped via third-party actors who shield agencies from legitimacy threats. Focusing empirically on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's approval of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), we find that product assessments by powerful stakeholders and peer agencies influence product approval and that their effects vary under different threats. We also discuss the implications of these findings for business-government relations, nonmarket strategy, and organization theory.

Keywords: Strategy; Government and Politics; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; United States;

Citation:

Hiatt, Shon R., and Sangchan Park. "Lords of the Harvest: Third-party Influence and Regulatory Approval of Genetically Modified Organisms." Academy of Management Journal 56, no. 4 (August 2013): 923–944.