Journal of Management & Governance

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 1027–1045 | Cite as

Compliance and ethics programs: competitive advantage through the law

  • Evan A. Peterson


This paper aims to address whether deploying compliance and ethics programs will assist US organizations in implementing the internal mechanisms necessary to achieve a competitive advantage from the law. My focus will be on the US legal system, as the corporate compliance and ethics programs examined are based on mitigation provisions contained in the US Federal Sentencing Guidelines. In particular, I propose that organizations can attain a sustainable competitive advantage from the law by considering the following questions: Do compliance and ethics programs assist organizations in achieving a better understanding of the law? Are compliance and ethics programs a cost-effective approach for coping with an organization’s legal issues? Can compliance and ethics programs aid organizations by preventing these legal issues from occurring in the future? Will compliance and ethics programs support organizations in reframing legal issues as business opportunities?


Business law Competitive advantage Compliance and ethics programs Organizational strategy Legal environment 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Detroit MercyDetroitUSA

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