Understanding Interorganizational Cooperation: Public-Private Collaboration in Regulating Financial Market Innovation

Sue R. Faerman, David P. McCaffrey, David M. Van Slyke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


This paper examines how a collaborative effort between the private and public sectors, called the Derivatives Policy Group (DPG), helped shape current regulation of financial innovation. In 1994 and 1995, this group of six large financial firms developed procedures for risk management, internal controls, and reporting for largely unregulated areas of finance, in cooperation with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The process succeeded despite strong competition among the firms themselves and incentives for both the public and private sectors to resort to adversarial lobbying and legal challenges. The Derivatives Policy Group was a path-setting event in the development of flexible regulation of financial innovation that is now the norm for related policy making. The case is important in and of itself - the financial markets are a major concern of national and international economic policy - but here we treat it as an instance of a larger class of problems. Organizational science constantly encounters settings that involve numerous participants who compete or have histories of conflicts; who are interdependent, and collectively would gain (and even individually gain long term) by cooperating rather than competing on an issue; who fall under different governance systems; and who try as a group to design rules and principles governing their behavior. Four factors appear repeatedly in the research on the success or failure of such arrangements. These are (1) the initial dispositions toward cooperation, (2) the extant issues and incentives, (3) leadership, and (4) the number and variety of organizations involved. This paper focuses on how these factors shaped the development and consequences of the Derivatives Policy Group, and the general implications of this process for interorganizational cooperation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-388
Number of pages17
JournalOrganization Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Collaboration
  • Financial markets
  • Interorganizational cooperation
  • Regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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