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Nanotechnology and Ethics: The Role of Regulation Versus Self-Commitment in Shaping Researchers’ Behavior

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Author Info

  • Matthias Fink

    ()

  • Rainer Harms

    ()

  • Isabella Hatak

    ()

Abstract

The governance of nanotechnology seeks to limit its risks, without constraining opportunities. The literature on the effectiveness of approaches to governance has neglected approaches that impact directly on the behavior of a researcher. We analyze the effectiveness of legal regulations versus regulation via self-commitment. Then, we refine this model by analyzing competition and autonomy as key contingency factors. In the first step, qualitative interviews with nanotechnology researchers are conducted to reflect this model. In the second step, its empirical relevance is tested using a survey of 90 nanotech researchers. The results indicate that legal regulations, as well as self-commitment to an informal CoC reduce the scope of behavior. Finally, that competition and autonomy affect the relative strength of these governance factors. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10551-012-1431-2
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Business Ethics.

Volume (Year): 109 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 569-581

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:109:y:2012:i:4:p:569-581

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100281

Related research

Keywords: Code of conduct; Governance; Legal regulation; Nanotechnology; Research behavior; Self-commitment;

References

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  1. Nooteboom, B., 1996. "Trust, opportunism and governance: A process and control model," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-376064, Tilburg University.
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  10. Michaela Haase, 2008. "Customer Integration and Beyond - Towards a Business Economic-Ethical Theory of the Firm," Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Unternehmensethik - Journal for Business, Economics & Ethics, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 9(1), pages 129 - 152.
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Cited by:
  1. Jonathan Linton & Steven Walsh, 2012. "Introduction to the Field of Nanotechnology Ethics and Policy," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 109(4), pages 547-549, September.

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