The purpose of this paper is to describe the state of play regarding Italian Government strategy for preventing and combating corruption in Public Owned Enterprises (POEs). That is a special case since it implies the application of a hybrid regime of over compliance. On one hand, POEs must comply with Legislative Decree no. 231 of 2001 as private organization, on the other hand POEs must comply with Law No 190/2012 as public-owned organization. We carried out empirical research on the application of Legislative Decree no. 231 and Law No 190 based on an analysis of 106 Italian POEs. The results depict a controversial situation. Only a small part of the sample seems to comply with the Law and Decree. Most parts of the sample do not perfectly comply with Decree No 231 and Law No 190. In this case, it seems that the hybrid nature of POEs leads to an incomplete process of compliance. Or said in other terms, over-compliance does not work. The research limitations are mainly related to the sample, only Italian POEs, and to the absence of a longitudinal analysis due to the too recent application of the normative. This study provides an empirical basis for governments to apply anticorruption measures to POEs, and it provides useful insights for management to avoid the “conformity trap”. This study is the first to provide a starting point for reflection on the intertwined relationship between POEs and anticorruption measures, and to outline the current status quo of application in the Italian context.
Key words: Anticorruption, compliance, public owned enterprises, hybrid organizations.
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