Gaining Perspective of an Industry’s Readiness for Regulatory Change: A Case Study From the Aviation Industry

Damon Lercel


A change in regulatory policy regularly affects more than one organization and may involve an entire industry comprised of thousands of diverse organizations. These types of regulatory changes often encounter significant resistance from industry stakeholders as they often view new regulation with a certain level of skepticism, contributing to policy gridlock. A significant factor in whether any change initiative fails or succeeds is the organization’s readiness for change. However, a preponderance of the organizational change research to date has focused on individuals, targeted small groups, or single organizations – little has focused on regulatory policy changes that may affect a very large and diverse industry group. By better understanding an industry’s readiness for change, regulators may more effectively identify and understand the potential opposing forces, develop strategies to overcome these forces, and therefore may create a change vector. Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration proposed a major regulatory change affecting the United States’ aviation repair station industry. This heavily debated regulation would require industry organizations to develop a formal Safety Management Systems. Thus far the regulation has met stiff industry resistance. This research attempted to gain perspective of the industry’s readiness for change and found their overall readiness level was low. Although this research was limited in scope and intended as an initial exploration of change readiness concepts across a large industry faced with a proposed major public policy shift, the results suggest readiness for change assessments may assist public agencies with managing major regulatory change.

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Journal of Management and Strategy
ISSN 1923-3965 (Print)   ISSN 1923-3973 (Online)


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