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Global multi-stakeholder standard setters: how fragile are they?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE). Handelshögskolan i Stockholm.
2013 (English)In: Journal of Global Ethics, ISSN 1744-9626, Vol. 9, no 1, 93-110 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Worldwide we see the rise of new non-state, ‘multi-stakeholder’ organizations setting standards for socially and environmentally responsible practices. A multi-stakeholder organization builds on the idea of assembling actors from diverse societal spheres into one rule-setting process, thereby combining their resources, competences, and experiences. These processes also allow competing interests to negotiate and deliberate about their different concerns in global political and ethical matters. This paper analyzes multi-stakeholder dynamics within three global standard setters: the Forest Stewardship Council, the Marine Stewardship Council, and the work of the International Organization for Standardization on social responsibility (ISO 26000). Although the multi-stakeholder organizational form facilitates the establishment of transnational non-state authority, this very structure could also result in fragility. The key aim of this paper is to elaborate on this fragility with specific focus on how participatory aspects within a multi-stakeholder context both contribute to and destabilize the authority of the multi-stakeholder organization. The paper contributes theoretically to current discussions about transnational governance in the making, and more specifically it adds nuance to the discussion about the fragility of non-state authority as well as a critical perspective to the literature on multi-stakeholder arrangements.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 9, no 1, 93-110 p.
Keyword [en]
multi-stakeholder, power, legitimacy, authority, certification
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-93877DOI: 10.1080/17449626.2013.773180OAI: diva2:649369
Available from: 2013-09-18 Created: 2013-09-18 Last updated: 2013-09-24Bibliographically approved

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Tamm Hallström, Kristina
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Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE)
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