2003 volume 21(3) pages 445 – 465

Cite as:
Fryxell G E, Lo C W H, Lam T-c, 2003, "Allocation of responsibility: managerial perspectives on pollution in three Chinese municipalities" Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 21(3) 445 – 465

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Allocation of responsibility: managerial perspectives on pollution in three Chinese municipalities

Gerald E Fryxell, Carlos W H Lo, Tao-chiu Lam

Received 21 August 2001; in revised form 7 December 2002

Abstract. It is widely acknowledged that China's economic miracle has been achieved at the expense of its natural environment. Although considerable emphasis is now being given to the environment in the central government's current policy initiatives, reversing the degradation of natural capital will require the full range of policy mechanisms. Although businesses must be made to comply with regulations, collaboration from management will be required to implement various nonregulatory policy mechanisms. Consequently, it is important to understand managers' assessment of the current situation, particularly in light of China's 'command-and-control' tradition and whom they hold responsible. From a sample of 653 managers in three large urban centers, it was found that Chinese managers hold multiple institutions responsible. The central and local governments are held primarily responsible -- both for not having passed stricter regulations and for not having enforced those already on the books. Economic organizations are held secondarily responsible. Significant differences among sectors and regions, however, were also observed.

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