Rules Compliance Behavior: A Heuristic Model

Barry Bozeman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Scopus citations


    Few studies focus on the full array of employees' responses to the formal rules governing their work. This article develops a set of propositions as to why employees comply fully with rules, comply in part, or disobey rules. The primary goal of the article is to stimulate further development of theory and research about rules-based behaviors. The article sets forth a Heuristic Model of Rules Compliance Behavior, "heuristic"because it aims less at explanation than the development of concepts and propositions about organizational employees' rules compliance behavior. The model's dimensions include the sources of rules, the characteristics of rule arbiters, the compliance requirements of rules, characteristics of sanctions for noncompliance, and rule density. The article concludes with suggestions for future research and argues that greater knowledge of rules compliance could provide a theory-enabling "scaffolding' for several research topics related to organizational rules.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)36-49
    Number of pages14
    JournalPerspectives on Public Management and Governance
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Mar 1 2022

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Public Administration


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