This dissertation examines Nobel Prize Laureate Hayek's ominous warning that economic liberty in the U.S. is at risk, due to regulations, of becoming an unplanned administrative state. The research seeks to understand the effects of regulations on business performance and how to right-size them for a healthy business environment. These objectives are accomplished with two papers: (1) a macro cross-discipline literature review and call for research on the impact of regulations on business performance, and (2) a qualitative grounded theory study from interviews from elite business executives on their perspectives on the impact of regulations on business performance. The findings lead to principles of the impact of regulations have on business performance, theoretical implications, and practical implications towards the right-sizing of regulations. The government's role as the umpire is paramount, including acting on appropriate regulations to create a healthy business environment and avoiding regulations that pick winners and losers. Regulations should be vetted against unintended consequences that may create an unhealthy business environment. Future research directions and limitations are discussed.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Performance; Economics; Business and politics

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graziadio Business School



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Nelson Granados