Fuller’s work on rule-breaking theory wins award

Caleb S. Fuller ’13

Grove City College Associate Professor of Economics Dr. Caleb S. Fuller ’13 is part of a team of scholars that recently won the Laziridis Institute Journal of Business Venturing Best Paper Award.

Fuller, with co-authors David S. Lucas of Syracuse University and Mark Packard of Florida Atlantic University, were recognized this spring for “Made to be broken? A theory of regulatory governance and rule-breaking entrepreneurial action.”

The paper, which was published in the journal last year, seeks to explain why society’s rules of the game sometimes effectively constrain entrepreneurs, but in other instances allow for rule-breaking entrepreneurial action. It develops a theory of rule-breaking entrepreneurial action, or behavior aimed at launching new ventures in a manner inconsistent with law or other state-provided policies.

“There is a rich literature showing how institutions — society’s ‘rules of the game’ — channel economic activity. While highly useful, this literature usually assumes rules are perfectly enforced and interpreted homogeneously. My coauthors and I relax those assumptions to explore the causes and consequences of successful rulebreakers like Uber and unsuccessful rulebreakers like Zenefits,” Fuller said.

“We also show that not all rule-breaking is alike. Some rulebreakers intentionally violate clear rules, for example in black markets, whereas other enterprises occupy gray space where rule interpretation is up for grabs,” he added.

The award recognizes exceptional research published in 2022 by the Journal of Business Venturing, which is considered a top journal in entrepreneurship studies and economics. It publishes about 60 papers a year and serves as a scholarly forum for sharing useful and interesting theories, narratives, and interpretations of the antecedents, mechanisms, and/or consequences of entrepreneurship.

The Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises at Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, works with an international network of highly regarded scholars to conduct leading-edge research across all management disciplines.

A summary of the paper that Fuller wrote for the American Institute for Economic Research is available online here: https://www.aier.org/article/made-to-be-broken/.

For more about Economics at Grove City College, visit www.gcc.edu/econ.

Fuller’s work on rule-breaking theory wins award

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