As the cornerstone of the stable operation of capital market, the legal and compliant operation of listed companies is crucial to maintaining market order and promoting high-quality economic development. With the increase of downward pressure on the economy and the global COVID-19 epidemic, enterprises frequently violate regulations under multiple pressures. The existing measures to control corporate violations are mainly passive punishment after the event. Whether the government can establish economic relations with enterprises through procurement has not been fully paid attention to and explored. Based on the top five customer data disclosed by listed companies from 2008 to 2018, this paper identifies major government customers and examines the impact and mechanism of major government customers on corporate violations.
The research results of this paper show that: First, the government establishes supply and marketing relationships with enterprises as customers, which can effectively reduce the possibility and frequency of corporate violations. Second, major government customers can not only reduce the violation motivation of enterprises by reducing the operating pressure of enterprises, but also reduce the violation opportunity of enterprises by improving the level of internal control and strengthening the external supervision, so as to reduce corporate violations. Third, there are differences in the governance effect of major government customers under different enterprise characteristics. For enterprises with more physical investment and more decentralized management power, major government customers have a more significant governance effect on violations. For enterprises with fewer agency problems of the first type, the governance effect of major government customers is more significant, which indicates that the role of major government customers is more of “additional improvement”. For enterprises with serious agency problems of the second type, the governance of major government customers is more effective, which indicates that the role of major government customers is more of “timely help”.
This paper, for the first time, takes government procurement as a means of preventing violations in advance to verify whether it has a good governance effect on corporate violations, making up for the research on preventing violations in advance led by government policies. The research conclusion verifies the intermediary mechanism and the difference of governance effect under different dimensions of governance by major government customers, which provides new notes for the realization of a better combination of effective market and effective government, and provides new empirical evidence for exploring the reform of government procurement system.