Article

From Norms to Programs: The United Nations Global Compact and Global Governance

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Abstract

Norms shape policy when they get translated into concrete programs. What if a widely shared norm gets translated into a weak program? How might this influence the program's legitimacy? We examine these issues in the context of the United Nations Global Compact, a voluntary program that embodies the widely shared norm of corporate responsibility. While both international intergovernmental organization (IGO) and international non-governmental organization (INGO) networks support this norm, they differ on the adequacy of the Compact's program design. We explore how this tension affects the diffusion of the Compact across countries, which vary in their levels of embeddedness in IGO and INGO networks. Our findings suggest that embeddedness in IGO networks encourages adoption, while embeddedness in INGO networks discourages it. Our analysis provides important lessons for sponsors of voluntary governance mechanisms. Widespread support for a norm does not automatically ensure support for a program that claims to embody it.

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... These are not insignificant concerns. While there is room to argue about the necessity of a stick in ensuring better outcomes, if the need for a stick is perceived of as important to key stakeholders then the lack of them can fatally damage the implementation of any CSR initiative whether it truly needed the stick or not (Berliner and Prakash, 2012). For this reason, program design is as or almost as important as the high level goals of any CSR initiative. ...
... Stronger sticks usually lead to less participation so one must ask whether greater good is reached through broad membership, but the potential for non-compliance, or small membership with greater compliance . In all likelihood what are needed is both types of programs, with a clear understanding of the differences between the two (Berliner and Prakash, 2012). What is clear though is that for CSR to realize its lofty goals, and not just be a marketing tool designed not to improve social outcomes but rather to solely protect brands, governments and intergovernmental organizations will need to play a role. ...
... These are not insignificant concerns. While there is room to argue about the necessity of a stick in ensuring better outcomes, if the need for a stick is perceived of as important to key stakeholders then the lack of them can fatally damage the implementation of any CSR initiative whether it truly needed the stick or not ( Berliner and Prakash, 2012). For this reason, program design is as or almost as important as the high level goals of any CSR initiative. ...
... Another relevant external stakeholder recognized by many authors is the government (e.g., Berliner and Prakash, 2012;Knudsen, 2011;Mele and Schepers, 2013). Rasche (2009b) states in his conceptual work that governments set up regulatory frameworks at the national (sometimes supranational) level to facilitate the implementation of UNGC principles in the companies operating in their territories. ...
... The first internal factor underlined by some scholars (Berliner and Prakash, 2012;Fritsch, 2008) is the intensity of commercial dealings with countries presenting more advanced CSR performance. Lim and Tsutsui (2012) empirically demonstrate that countries and corporations that export to countries with more UNGC companies are more likely to adopt CSR frameworks. ...
... The same concept is underlined in Fritsch (2008) conceptual paper. Other authors (Berliner and Prakash, 2012;Perkins and Neumayer, 2010) extend this factor to a national perspective, empirically demonstrating that if a country exports mainly to markets characterized by a high density of UNGC participants, this would be associated with higher domestic participation. A second internal factor is firm size. ...
Article
The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) is one of the most important corporate social responsibility initiatives; its aim is to align companies’ strategies and operations with principles that involve human rights, labor, the environment, and anti-corruption. After approximately 15 years of research on the UNGC, we provide a systematic literature review on this topic. We start with a keyword search of 96 papers on the UNGC. We then code these papers based on a deductive–inductive approach and classify them by year of publication, publication outlet, research focus, methodology, and underpinning theory. We frame and summarize the debate on the five main topics of UNGC literature, namely motivations driving the companies toward UNGC adoption, weaknesses, impacts, contextual factors affecting adoption, and contextual factors affecting performance. For each of the five streams of research, we identify several factors or variables that enrich the knowledge of it. Building on these findings, we identify various research gaps and develop a set of hypotheses for future empirical validation that are grounded on prominent theoretical frameworks, such as the stakeholder theory (in combination with the Human Resource Management literature) and the signal theory.
... 'Weak' or 'soft' MSIs encourage learning and best practice approaches to achieving the objectives they endorse. They provide relatively few means by which the achievement of their principles might be enforced (Berliner & Prakash, 2012;Mena & Palazzo, 2012). Analogically, they have been referred to as the 'nurturing parent' model (Haack & Scherer, 2014). ...
... Soft MSIs, and the UNGC in particular, have often been criticized for being little more than public relations exercises that enable participants to derive reputational benefits at little or no operational cost (Berliner & Prakash, 2012;Sethi & Schepers, 2014). The supporters of such MSIs, however, posit that softness can actually be a strength: it can enable participants to be "self-disciplined and self-reliant citizens" (Haack & Scherer, 2014: 231) with genuine commitment. ...
... The preceding analysis has demonstrated the utility of analytically differentiating between an MSI's statutory procedures, mechanisms and objectives in legitimacy conflicts. In supplementing prior work on the UNGC in particular, which has largely focused on the legitimacy of the UNGC's mechanisms (e.g., Berliner & Prakash, 2012;Haack & Scherer, 652 7. Another stance would have been possible for the UNGC. For example, the Dutch Pension giant ABP argued, when it divested from PetroChina in 2012, that an apparent unwillingness t o s u p p o r t h u m a n r i g h t s i s inconsistent with UNGC Principles 1 and 2 (IAG, 2012). ...
Article
download the article from: https://management-aims.com/index.php/mgmt/article/view/4258/10026 Organizations need legitimacy to be able to operate effectively. Consequently, and just like their participants, multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) need to respond when faced with legitimacy challenges from external parties. We build on current theory to identify three organizational elements that can be made the subject of legitimacy critique – i.e., statutory procedures, objectives and mechanisms – and use these elements to structure our analysis of a conflict-ridden case concerning the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). Whereas prior work suggests that organizations can respond to such conflicts in a fashion consistent with either moral entrapment or decoupling, we show that organizations can also respond by deflating their statutory procedures and objectives. A deflationary response can help organizations maintain their validity by diminishing the ability of external parties to advance propriety-legitimacy critiques against them. By examining this alternative response, we expand the scope and refine the analytic detail by which organizational legitimacy conflicts can be investigated.
... These conditions are characteristic of the more 'coordinated market economies', as opposed to rather 'liberal market economies' (see Hall & Soskice, 2001;Jackson & Apostolakou, 2010 Pavelin, & Porter, 2006) or embeddedness in international (non-)governmental organization networks (Berliner & Prakash, 2012). ...
... Its purpose is to enrich our knowledge of the impact of the initiative on the business par-UNGC participation duration. While scholars have predominantly referred to problems with 'weak' standard designs(Behnam & MacLean, 2011;Berliner & Prakash, 2012), my findings suggest that voluntary CSR initiatives may indeed impact organizational practices, even in the absence of strict compliance and enforcement measures. Overall, I found UNGC implementation to be higher for longer UNGC participants than for newer ones. ...
... Other NGOs are fundamentally opposed to business self-regulation. For example Greenpeace has opposed business initiatives such as the United Nations Global Compact due to concerns that its enforcement mechanisms are too weak (Berliner and Prakash 2012). These NGOs believe that weak voluntary mechanisms are used mainly to protect the reputation of businesses but do not result in meaningful behavioural changes. ...
... While the distinction between the different capabilities and interests of NGOs has been made in the literature by Keck and Sikkink (1999), and Berliner and Prakash (2012), the cases illustrate the way these distinctions can affect the regulatory process. ...
Thesis
Who has the capacity to regulate production in transnational supply chains and whose interests does this serve? This focus of this thesis is on transnational regulation, specifically the identification of the actors who participate in setting and implementing regulatory agendas, their interests, capacity and interactions between them. Transnational regulation is the regulation of activities which take place across national jurisdictions. State and non-state actors are direct participants in transnational regulatory regimes and non-state actors may play leading roles in their development and implementation. While work has been done which examines the roles that non-state actors play in transnational regulatory processes, there has been limited investigation into the relationships between state and non-state actors on transnational standard setting and implementation. The Governance Triangle, developed by Abbott and Snidal (2009) is a framework that positions the relationships between states, businesses and NGOs as central to transnational regulation. They argue that cooperation is necessary between these groups for there to be sufficient capacity to regulate a transnational problem. However, due to the divergent interests of these actors and the distribution of bargaining powers between them, they posit transnational regulatory standards are likely to be dominated by business interests and will be sub-optimal. This thesis explores the question of whether transnational regulatory programmes dominated by business organizations are necessarily lacking regulatory capacity and whether they remain that way over time by studying the emergence and evolution of two cases of industry selfregulation designed to improve labour standards in the production of toys and chocolate. Building upon the Governance Triangle, this thesis makes three key findings: 1) Bargaining in transnational regulation is not always distributional and that it is possible for actors to cooperate to identify and develop frameworks for transnational regulatory problems. 2) Interactions within one actor type and interactions involving all three actor groups can shape power dynamics in the bargaining process and 3) Regulation that is dominated by business actors does begin as sub-optimal. However, over time new bargaining processes can be initiated which lead to incremental developments in the capacity of a system to regulate. This thesis also contributes to the literature on non-state actors in regulation by identifying the actors which participate in transnational regulatory processes and their motivation and capacity to do so. It identifies two new sources of regulatory capacity: individual policy entrepreneurs and the media.
... The Global Compact provides a common platform for companies to report their CSR related policies and practices. It embeds many of the normative debates into its ambit (Berliner & Prakash, 2012) to make corporates more proactive in accepting their social responsibilities (Schembera, 2018). However, it is rooted in voluntary reporting that depends on the initiatives of the participating corporations. ...
... However, it is rooted in voluntary reporting that depends on the initiatives of the participating corporations. Berliner and Prakash (2012) point out the observations of Compact's 2008 Annual Review indicating that 'not all Global Compact principles are covered with the same level of detail,' that 'there is a wide disparity with regard to information available per principle,' and that 'reported information is not comprehensive, communications on progress focusing more on commitments and management systems than on materiality, performance and achievements'. Even the recent report submitted by corporations on Global Compact suggests that the situation has more or less remained the same till date. ...
Article
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Abstract The absence of consensus on what should constitute Corporate Social Responsibility has inhibited consistent CSR legislation around the world. This paper poses a fundamental question on what should constitute CSR and what should be the nature of CSR regulation? By constructing the boundaries of CSR, the paper offers scope for consistently developing CSR regulation around the world. It construes CSR as consisting of business relation and impact relation, and demonstrates that these are intertwined with legal responsibilities of business and, consequentially, with accountability. It accomplishes this by establishing the obligatory nature of responsibilities using the lens of ethical and legal jurisprudence. This new approach towards CSR recasts it as an obligatory responsibility that is linked to accountability. Furthermore, the framework provides a foundation for consistent development of CSR regulation across different countries that can lead to effective discharge of corporates’ social responsibilities.
... There is debate on the usefulness of third-party auditing in the context of voluntary programs (National Academy of Public Administration 2001). The United Nations Global Compact program, for example, does not provide for such auditing, which has become a point of criticism by many NGOs (Berliner & Prakash 2012). However, Locke and Brause (2007) question the necessity or even desirability of monitoring in the context of voluntary labor programs. ...
... The article focuses on companies that are legal in the US and the UK and listed on the New York Stock Exchange (US firms) and the London Stock Exchange (UK firms). It selects large firms, which are defined as firms with more than 250 employees (Berliner and Prakash, 2012;Eurostat, 2016). A search for firms was carried out using the Orbis Database (see the Appendix A). ...
Article
This article examines corporate social responsibility (CSR) pertaining to labor standards in apparel and tax transparency in extractives and explores how domestic regulatory traditions shape CSR in large international US and UK firms. Reflecting their more collaborative business-government traditions, British firms are more willing to join international CSR multi-stakeholder initiatives with business-critical actors such as unions and civil society actors. The US has a more top-down regulatory approach, which promotes hard law international CSR or encourages business-driven voluntary CSR initiatives. This article makes three contributions. First, it argues that while corporations are the key actors in international CSR, their behavior reflects their respective national business systems. Second, focusing on a range of international CSR initiatives, this article finds that UK firms are more interested in adopting international (multi-stakeholder) CSR initiatives than US firms. Finally, the article shows that the US and the UK governments play a key role in driving an international CSR agenda, and in doing this it highlights government agency more so than other research has.
... Similar to business school accreditation systems, UN initiatives such as PRME and the Global Compact are also commonly considered 'weak' initiatives from a sustainability standpoint as compliance standards are low and legitimacy concerns tend to drive accreditation(Berliner and Prakash 2012;Eiríksdóttir and Engelmark 2016). ...
Chapter
The much-maligned field of economics has long had an uneasy relationship with ethical and value-based concepts such as sustainability . This chapter shows how a shift towards teaching a heterodox, socially and ecologically literate economics that is also sensitive towards questions of power , equity and justice can help overcome the autism the dominant neoclassical school of economics is standing accused of. Such an approach may not only serve to make the field more attractive again to students but also to help restore its relevance within the sustainability context.
... The article's first contribution consists in an insightful problem analysis based on the n-person prisoner's dilemma. In addition to the insights on the UNGC's implementation problems, this analytical tool can explain the moderate successes and weaknesses of both the learning-oriented (e.g., Kell and Levin 2003;Palazzo and Scherer 2010;Haack and Scherer 2014) and compliance-oriented (e.g., Berliner and Prakash 2012, 2014, 2015Sethi and Schepers 2014) solution approaches. The article's second contribution consists in pointing to the UNGC's limited prospects as a self-regulation approach to the establishment of the minimal state. ...
Article
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The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) has difficulties in attracting new voluntary members and inciting them to implement its ten principles. The present article analyzes this implementation deficit from the perspective of Lockean social contract theory and derives new strategies for reducing it. On this view, the UNGC presents itself as the attempt to realize a set of moral norms, typically enforced by an impartial minimal state, protecting its citizens from violations of their natural rights, negative externalities and discrimination by bribed officials. It will only succeed in facilitating the realization of those norms on a strictly voluntary basis, if it manages to overcome the underlying n-person prisoner’s dilemma. This requires the existence of a critical mass k < N of conditionally moral firms, which are willing to observe the UNGC principles and to resist the temptation to free ride on their observance by others, if it does not disadvantage them in comparison to their situation in a state of universal non-observance. Four contracting problems can impede the conclusion of this Lockean social contract. The UNGC has a slim chance of overcoming its implementation deficit on a non-coercive basis by cultivating four institutional capabilities assisting conditionally moral firms in surmounting those four problems of voluntary norm compliance.
... First, this study tackles one important aspect of global governance: the IGOs (e.g., Bernstein & Cashore 2007;Pattberg 2005). Scholars argue that IGOs co-construct global norms that shape international policies and program designs (Berliner & Prakash 2012). IGOs also arguably serve a regulatory function that strengthens inter-state activities and shapes the institutional arrangements where public and private actors interact (Abbott & Snidal 2010). ...
... Therefore, beyond internal firm characteristics, the external environment in which businesses operate is likely to be crucial in steering corporations towards corporate responsibility (Crouch and Maclean, 2011;Smith et al., 2010;Tsutsui and Lim, 2015). These studies, however, are only suggestive because they are limited to corporations of certain sizes, industries, and countries (Gallego, 2006;Mio, 2010), or have focused on simple membership counts in the GCR movement instead of levels of disclosure (Berliner and Prakash, 2012;Lim and Tsutsui, 2012). An important reason for these restrictions is practical: data on GCR and the corporations that comprise the movement are either unavailable or inconsistent across various countries, making cross-national generalizations about the GCR movement difficult. ...
Article
In the domain of global corporate responsibility (GCR), international organizations have promoted disclosure as a means to address global concerns with corporations’ social and environmental practices. Business disclosure practices, however, remain uneven across organizations and countries. This article examines various field, national, and global factors that facilitate or mitigate GCR disclosure among corporations worldwide. Analyzing unique quantitative data on more than 1800 disclosure reports by corporations in more than 50 countries, this article presents two main findings. First, field-level factors are prominent but they influence disclosure levels in different ways. Third-party verification encourages greater disclosure, while peer organizations mitigate disclosure. Second, national and global factors influence disclosure differently in developed and developing countries. Business disclosure in developed countries is impacted by national factors while, in developing countries, disclosure is significantly influenced by global factors. The article concludes by discussing the implications of GCR disclosure for wider global corporate governance concerns.
... For example, UNGC signatories are given latitude to adopt Global Compact norms in their corporate policies as they wish, submitting annual Communications on Progress (COP) reports that are posted on the Global Compact's website. While critics have noted there is considerable variety in the depth and breadth of these reports (Berliner and Prakash 2012), they also acknowledge that the adoption of practices at the firm level is influenced by government commitments to the UN (Bennie et al. 2007). In sum, the firm-level identity of the UNGC, and its embeddedness, is important to enabling or constraining organizational decisions regarding how UNGC ideals translate into practice (Glynn and Raffaelli 2013), which are reflective of the UNGC as a form of explicit CSR. ...
Article
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This article analyzes the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) under the conceptual framework of explicit versus implicit corporate social responsibility (CSR) to better understand the operational and governance challenges behind this voluntary global initiative. Using institutional logics theory, we show how the UNGC is a practice that embodies seemingly competing logics. We suggest mechanisms to facilitate the interplay of implicit/explicit CSR and the co-existence of logics that might allow the UNGC to move forward while addressing its critics. We argue that failure to conceptualize the UNGC as a combination of explicit and implicit CSR leaves the UNGC subject to criticism that might be better directed toward organizations that fail to practice explicit CSR. While viewing the UNGC through an integrated CSR framework may not immediately reconcile its critics and proponents, combining elements of both may provide opportunities to posit collaborative solutions to improve the quality, outcome, and legitimacy of UNGC initiatives.
... First, it is expected they are easier to develop and implement because they do not have to go through the checks and balances required for mandatory interventions, and they can target specific groups of firms or citizens rather than proposing a 'one size fits all' solution as mandatory interventions often do (Sheehy, 2011;Sik & Kriznik, 2017). Second, higher levels of acceptance and compliance are expected of voluntary programs because those targeted are often involved in their development (Lyon & Wren Montgomery, 2015), and because they voluntary commit to them rather than being forced to do so (Berliner & Prakash, 2012). Third, win-win outcomes are expected as those committing to voluntary programs gain-through financial, information, or other rewards-and the targeted cities gain by seeing reduced carbon emissions (Hayden, 2014). ...
Article
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Voluntary urban climate programs challenge firms and citizens to reduce resource consumption and carbon emissions at city level but without the force of law. High hopes are expressed about their capacity to accelerate a transition towards low-carbon building and city (re)development. This article explores, maps, and interrogates a global trend of voluntary urban climate programs, with a specific focus on action-networks, performance recognition programs, and eco-financing for low-carbon building initiatives. It finds that, thus far and within the boundaries of the literature reviewed, voluntary programs for building initiatives have not contributed to resource consumption and carbon emissions reductions at a level that will help achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement (i.e., staying under 1.5°C). It concludes with approaches that will help to make better use of these programs.
... The Compact is criticized by environmental groups who, because of its weak standards and the absence of third-party monitoring, label it as "bluewashing" (66), given its association with the UN. Scholars report that high salience of environmental groups correlates with decreased participation in the Compact (67). Two learnings emerge. ...
Article
Corporate environmentalism (CE) pertains to firm-level efforts to reduce pollution and resource use along with protecting natural habitats. Importantly, firms pledge to undertake these actions beyond the requirements of the law. Although historically CE efforts focused on resource conservation, their contemporary focus is on pollution reduction to reduce direct harm to humans and their communities and on the protection of environmental sinks. We review two broad categories of CE: direct CE and indirect CE. Direct CE, whether undertaken unilaterally or collectively, pertains to firms themselves adopting policies that reduce the environmental impact of their activities, or disclosing information about their environmental performance. Indirect CE refers to policies of actors (such as financial institutions) that encourage firms seeking their resources (through loans, venture capital, etc.) to commit to environmental stewardship policies. Three key lessons emerge. First, firm-level characteristics, particularly size and economic performance, encourage CE. Second, although pressure from external stakeholders, especially environmental nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), has played an important role in discouraging policies that harm the environment, its effect on encouraging pro-environmental activities remains unclear. Third, the literature is ripe with serious methodological issues. The endogeneity between firms’ economic and environmental record and their CE efforts poses difficulty in drawing causal inferences. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Environment and Resources Volume 41 is October 17, 2016. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/catalog/pubdates.aspx for revised estimates.
... CSR-washing is the notion that companies use misleading or inaccurate advertisements and other communications to present their CSR in normative terms, while simultaneously failing to implement meaningful CSR practices and gaining undeserved reputational or branding benefits in the process (Boiral, Heras Saizarbitoria, & Testa, 2017). Surveys show that a large proportion of consumers believe that companies engage in CSR-washing behaviors (Alves, 2009) and CSRwashing debates have been intense in areas like the environment (Bansal & Clelland, 2004), support for women's health (Lubitow & Davis, 2011), and United Nations' CSR initiatives (Berliner & Prakash, 2012). To mitigate the potential for CSR-washing claims to diminish the benefits of their CSR engagement, business leaders might be reticent to promote CSR in terms of image enhancement. ...
... The O&G sector lacks certification schemes like those currently in use in "soft commodities" sectors, such as the Forest Stewardship (Berliner & Prakash, 2012;Moran, Lodhia, Kunz, & Huisingh, 2014;Raufflet et al., 2014), are far more general and provide less accountability-with the possible exception of GRI-and do not provide direct and simple communication with consumers and supply chain business partners. For UNGC it was demonstrated that UNGC members sometimes tend to downplay their sustainability commitments: enjoying the benefits of program membership without making costly changes to their human rights and environmental practices (Berliner & Prakash, 2015). ...
Article
The article analyzes preconditions, specifics, and results of the first Russian environmental rating of oil and gas companies. The Russian oil and gas industry, strategically important for the national economy, is also environmentally unfriendly and opaque. Companies lack adequate motivation to follow best international environmental standards and practices for disclosure of information about their environmental performance and impacts. Environmental responsibility of the oil and gas sector has been subject to both public scrutiny and scientific discussions for many decades; however, these issues have been rarely (if ever) explored using a reliable and equitable tool which would provide for comparison between different companies. This article attempts to analyze the application of such a tool – environmental responsibility rating of oil and gas companies in Russia. The idea behind launching the rating was to provide end consumers and financial institutions an opportunity to compare the companies’ products and services and to evaluate corporate risks (including reputation) on the basis of unbiased comparison and evaluation of the companies’ environmental responsibility and their management’s commitment. The rating’s rationale is premised on the assumption that an environmental rating based on publicly available data and information could be accepted by companies’ top management as a competitive advantage (or disadvantage) in obtaining access to better (cheaper and long-term) financial resources, and in improving market demand for their final value-added products. This study offers a complex analysis of qualitative and quantitative indicators of companies’ activities in three fields: environmental management, environmental impact, and disclosure/transparency. The rating’s results demonstrate that there are big differences among Russian oil and gas companies in their levels of environmental responsibility and transparency. Large, publicly-traded companies with a strategic focus on gas have received top ratings. Privately held, smaller oil companies are at the bottom, along with the subsidiaries of major Russian and international corporations (transparency of subsidiary companies tends to be lower than that of parent corporations). In some cases, a close relationship between the company’s management and population of the surrounding region plays a positive role in promoting environmental responsibility. Assumptions for this environmental rating have been at least partially confirmed by the positive dynamics of the associated petroleum gas (APG) utilization level by oil and gas companies in Russia. This rating is based on novel and creative approach and has already contributed to forming average quantitative impact indicators in the industry. The assumptions and conclusions of this study can also be tested by comparing the first environmental rating of oil and gas companies’ data with the data produced in the next rating.
... Firms headquartered in democratic countries are more likely to participate than firms from nondemocratic ones (Bernhagen, Mitchell, & Thissen-Smits, 2013;Perkins & Neumayer, 2010). The extent to which a firm's home country is integrated in international markets and/or NGO networks also have proven to be a good predictor of firm participation in many global codes (Berliner & Prakash, 2012;Perkins & Neumayer, 2010). Other scholars have examined how levels of regulation in a firm's home country affect CSR activity (see Tosun et al., this issue). ...
Article
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This article examines the relationship between national varieties of capitalism and firm engagement with the norms and best practices promoted within the global organisational field for corporate social responsibility (CSR). Using a content analysis of the CSR reports of US and European firms, we show that firms from the coordinated market economies (CME) of Europe engage more substantively with labour and human rights than their US counterparts that operate in a liberal market economy (LME). The environmental commitments of firms in both regions, however, are more developed than practices related to these social issues. These findings support the view that CSR is more developed in CMEs than LMEs, but limit this support to social CSR issues. We posit that firms’ higher levels of engagement with environmental CSR likely reflect the extent to which environmental norms have become embedded in global markets rather than how CSR is promoted by national capitalist systems.
... Yet it "has little capacity for direct enforcement" (Mosley 2011b:2) and the governance of labor rights is driven primarily by private actors and voluntary certification regimes such as the UN Global Compact (Lim and Tsutsui 2012). In many cases the primary contributions of the regimes are information sharing and providing a format for dialogue toward establishing common practices (Berliner and Prakash 2012). Enforcement, when it exists, is often carried out by third parties brought in at the behest of NGOs and the corporations themselves (Greenhill et al. 2009). ...
Article
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The impact of globalization has been a perennial source of contention, and issues regarding labor rights have been a visible aspect of this struggle. Despite the popular controversy about a potential "race to the bottom" regarding globalization and labor rights, the empirical record on these linkages remains mixed. Moreover, despite the multifaceted nature of globalization, extant literature in this area has focused purely on several specific facets of economic globalization, such as trade and FDI. We focus on two additional aspects of globalization, social and political integration, as well as a broadly based measure of economic globalization, and examine how they influence collective labor rights-both in terms of labor laws, as well as their enforcement in practice-in the developing world from 1986 to 2002. We find that all three facets of globalization are negatively related to labor rights. Specifically, social, political, and economic globalization are related to the decoupling of labor practices from extant labor laws; that is, labor practices deteriorate while labor laws remain largely unaffected.
... These are not insignificant concerns. While there is room to argue about the necessity of a stick in ensuring better outcomes, if the need for a stick is perceived of as important to key stakeholders then the lack of them can fatally damage the implementation of any CSR initiative whether it truly needed the stick or not (Berliner and Prakash, 2012, pp.149-150). For this reason, program design is as or almost as important as the high level goals of any CSR initiative. ...
Thesis
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We find ourselves living in an increasingly globalized world where capital, information, and trade are moving around the world at an unprecedented pace. While the nation state still plays an important role, borders seem to be blurring and losing some of their relevance. Despite this apparent weakening of the Westphalian model, institutions of global governance have not filled the gap and instead remain weak and incomplete, unable to fill the role traditionally expected of the nation state. In such a world public regulators do not always have the capacity to ensure labour standards are met. One approach to fill this regulatory gap is self-regulation by the private sector. But self-regulation without external audit with sanction powers is not enough to ensure societal goals are met. This paper explores the role that global governance, or its lack may play in the realization of decent working conditions for all workers, by asking: what is the role for global governance in decent working conditions for all workers? Is a transformation of norms and values enough or is some form of a global regulator required and who can play this role if necessary? This paper examines Ontario’s mining sector, composed of many advanced transnational companies, in order to test the self-regulatory idea. Analysis of regulatory compliance – in the developed world with sophisticated companies without independent external audit with ability to lay sanctions – finds the concept of self-regulation lacking, therefore challenging the utility of using such an approach in the developing world with weaker governance regimes.
... Corporations adopt voluntary frameworks to signal their CSR to external actors such as citizens, policymakers and NGOs (Cao and Prakash 2011). To measure CSR adoption, we follow established practice (Berliner andPrakash 2012, Lim andTsutsui 2012, van den Broek 2021) and use two widely endorsed global CSR frameworks. Our argument about the relationship between lobbying and CSR implies that CSR strategies take the political context in account. ...
Article
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This paper explores the role of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as an element in a corporation’s political action repertoire. Previous research has studied lobbying and CSR as a distinct means by which corporations seek to manage their non-market environment. Analyzing CSR as a political activity, we argue that corporations engage in CSR for the same reasons that prompt them to engage in lobbying. More specifically, we expect corporations to adopt CSR frameworks that are suitable to enhance their reputation in a given political arena. To evaluate this argument, we analyze the lobbying and CSR behavior in the EU and USA of over 2000 corporations from around the world. Our results show that lobbying and adopting CSR frameworks can be predicted by similar empirical models. Moreover, controlling for common predictors and endogeneity, lobbying in the EU is associated with an increased likelihood of a corporation adopting an appropriate CSR framework. However, corporations that lobby in Washington DC become less likely to engage in CSR the more they spend on lobbying. These findings shed new light on the relationship between lobbying and CSR while highlighting important differences in corporate non-market behavior across political arenas.
... The O&G sector lacks certification schemes like those currently in use in "soft commodities" sectors, such as the Forest Stewardship (Berliner & Prakash, 2012;Moran, Lodhia, Kunz, & Huisingh, 2014;Raufflet et al., 2014), are far more general and provide less accountability-with the possible exception of GRI-and do not provide direct and simple communication with consumers and supply chain business partners. For UNGC it was demonstrated that UNGC members sometimes tend to downplay their sustainability commitments: enjoying the benefits of program membership without making costly changes to their human rights and environmental practices (Berliner & Prakash, 2015). ...
Article
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The article discusses the evolution and current state of transparency of environmental performance data in the Russian Oil and Gas sector. We build upon our first-hand experience in a transparent , publicly available information and third-party-verified rating system. Based on 2014-16 successive annual ratings, we conclude that implementing "soft" responsibility mechanisms can improve environmental responsibility standards and transparency in the oil and gas industry. At the same time, in terms of improving environmental performance of oil and gas companies it is reasonable to assume an emerging trend. Its full realization will require (1) longer rating time, including that for public exposure to misleading environmental performance information and the use of poorly verified nonfinancial reporting; (2) application of independent analysis of satellite monitoring information to the professional audit and public verification of nonfinancial reporting; and (3) sophistication of guidelines for professional audit and public verification of nonfinancial reports. KEYWORDS environmental impact, environmental management, environmental responsibility, information disclosure, rating, Russian oil and gas industry
... Scholars argue that IGOs co-construct global norms that shape international policies and program designs (Berliner & Prakash 2012). IGOs also arguably serve a regulatory function that strengthens inter-state activities and shapes the institutional arrangements where public and private actors interact (Abbott & Snidal 2010). ...
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... Initiatives might do this, for example, by conscientiously allowing for the public display of special CSR certifications or logos. This finding might also help to explain the dramatic global diffusion of certain CSR frameworks (Berliner & Prakash, 2012;Lim & Tsutsui, 2012). One possible reason that the Global Compact and Global Reporting Initiative, for example, have become among the most popular CSR frameworks worldwide is that they give companies a structured way of highlighting their good deeds in CSR reports that are publicly disseminated. ...
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... Reporting (Berliner and Prakash, 2012;Moran et al., 2014;Raufflet et al., 2014), is that the latter are much more general and provide less accountability -with the possible exception of GRI -and do not provide direct and simple communication with final consumers and supply chain business partners. For instance, in the case of UNGC it was demonstrated that UNGC members sometimes tend to enjoy the benefits of program membership without making costly changes to their human rights and environmental practices (Berliner and Prakash, 2015). ...
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... Strong environmental performance should also decrease compliance costs of stringent VEPs for firms (Darnall et al. 2009). Firms with strong environmental performance are also in better positions to benefit more from stringent programs because they facilitate learning networks with other high performing participants, where high environmental performers can collaborate on extending their competitive advantages (Berliner & Prakash, 2012). ...
... While facilitating businesses' self-regulation, officials should be careful not to sponsor voluntary programs or production practices that enjoy low legitimacy among regulatees (Fiorino, 2009;Hu¨lsse, 2008), maintain lower standards than widely shared industrial norms (Berliner and Prakash, 2012), or allow for agency "slippage" given information asymmetry between regulators and regulatees (Prakash and Gugerty, 2010). At times, the approach requires officials to be "educators" (Carter, 2016;Lo et al., 2009), assimilating regulatory information for regulatees and providing them with technical assistance to promote behavioral modifications (Lee, 2011). ...
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... Strong environmental performance should also decrease compliance costs of stringent VEPs for firms (Darnall et al. 2009). Firms with strong environmental performance are also in better positions to benefit more from stringent programs because they facilitate learning networks with other high performing participants, where high environmental performers can collaborate on extending their competitive advantages (Berliner & Prakash, 2012). ...
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States and international organizations increasingly use voluntary initiatives to share the tasks of global governance with private actors. This chapter identifies the political, economic, and social conditions that encourage companies to participate in public-private voluntary initiatives and assesses their effectiveness in contributing to the goals of the sponsoring organization. Political factors such as a democratic regime in the company's home country or the mobilization of countervailing interests such as environmental or labor groups provide incentives for business participation in these initiatives. Other factors, such as nationally distinct types of capitalism and the sponsoring organization's strategies for mobilizing participation are also discussed. While companies' decisions to join voluntary codes are driven by concerns for the "bottom line," participation seems to have small but beneficial effects in the areas addressed by voluntary codes. This edition first published 2013
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Purpose - In a world characterised by increasing environmental and social awareness, the number of corporate social responsibility and sustainability initiatives has significantly grown. Among these, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) is one of the most important, involving more than 12,000 companies. The purpose of this study is to investigate the UNGC's worldwide diffusion, both at country and industry level, to understand the reasons leading to the highlighted dissemination patterns, and to propose various future projections. Design/methodology/approach - The study pursues its objectives by applying the logistic curve model to data provided by the United Nations. The analysis is complemented by adopting instability and concentration indexes. Findings - Results suggest that, while human rights and environmental safeguard in some areas and industries will remain a controversial issue, UNGC adoption will continue growing and giving the participants the required legitimacy to compete in worldwide markets. Originality/value - To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first paper that analyses the UNGC's worldwide diffusion and proposes a prediction model for its future dissemination. The findings are of considerable importance in extending the knowledge of the initiative and in understanding the potential values of its adoption.
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This chapter describes my entry into this old-fashioned cosmopolitan space and why I choose the UNDP China 5office as the site of my ethnographic enquiry. Its organisational design and the relatively long record of operating in China provides a crucial case for observing the everyday dynamics of norm diffusion of international institutions in the background of emerging powers. This chapter further includes a methodological discussion on the use of political ethnography, also called “perestroika movement” in political sciences, and responses to the questions of generalisation and objectivity.
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This chapter begins by exploring the literature on rationales for firm self-regulation. Secondly, this chapter traces the emergence of private governance in the mining sector, showing that a shift in norms and the growing expectation that business is responsible for the economic and social development of local communities are seen as driving the emergence of private governance initiatives. Lastly, Elbra develops a three-tiered framework for analysing the private governance initiatives that have emerged in Africa’s gold mining sector, specifically those developed at the firm, industry and multistakeholder levels. Of particular interests are the ICMM, World Gold Council, ISO14001 and the EITI; the strengths and weaknesses of these firm-led initiatives are analysed throughout the remainder of this chapter.
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Nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations have become prominent participants in a global organizational responsibility movement. This trend of nonprofit responsibility is puzzling because nonprofits are presumably already dedicated to the pursuit of collective well-being objectives. This article examines the nonprofit responsibility movement from a cultural perspective, whereby broader cultural changes at the level of international organizations have constructed nonprofit entities as empowered and socially responsible actors. Using the case of the United Nations Global Compact, a global framework for corporate social responsibility, the author shows how (1) the construction of cultural meanings of autonomy and decentralization in the neoliberal context, (2) existing institutional structures, and (3) the delegation of responsibility to nonprofit organizations have enabled nonprofit organizations to become active participants in the global organizational responsibility movement. This article utilizes documentary data from the United Nations as well as previously-existing interviews with United Nations officials.
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The chapter outlines the book’s overall argument, pointing to the limitations of ‘globalist’ perspectives in the governance literature whereby macro processes and explanations take precedent over developments at the domestic level, particularly when these refer to the global South. Against this, I argue that the diffusion of transnational regulation can be conceived as a process of collective mobilization, aiming to motivate actors in different locations to adopt new norms and behaviors. Hence, I rely on a detailed examination of the contrasting situation of sustainability governance in Argentina and Brazil to demonstrate the conditioning effect of national political cultural institutions, discourses, and legacies over the type of engagement and interest local actors display in relation to transnational regulatory initiatives.
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The work of international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) has contributed to the institutionalization of environmentalism. Putting environmental INGOs in comparative perspective, it is argued that differences in authority among INGOs are an important determinant of the strategies that INGOs adopt and the ultimate influence they are able to achieve. This claim is illustrated through an examination of the changing political opportunities for INGOs and a case of a recent private governance initiative, The Sustainability Consortium. The status maintenance concerns of leading INGOs encourage them to adopt incrementalist and pro-market policies that help launch weak governance schemes and frustrate many other environmental INGOs.
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Purpose This paper aims to consolidate the constructs of national responsibility (NR) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the context of corporate responsibilities. The paper traces the historical evolution of the concepts of NR and CSR with a discussion on bridging CSR with NR. The aim of this paper is to develop an understanding of the potential of CSR to support NR. Design/methodology/approach This paper reviews the historical evolution of the CSR and NR concepts to identify how CSR can be integrated and focused towards supporting NR. Findings NR needs partnership and support from the corporate and commercial world to direct its efforts towards effective implementation of CSR to ensure NR. Practical implications The paper offers the implications for the development of a powerful CSR, its relation with NR and how the linkage should be developed at an organizational level. Originality/value This research paper fulfils the need to study the role of CSR in supporting the NR at a corporate level.
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This study analyzes which firms leave multi-stakeholder initiatives for corporate social responsibility. Based on an analysis of all active and delisted business participants from the United Nations Global Compact between 2000 and 2015 (n=15,853), we find that small and medium-sized enterprises are more likely to leave than larger and publicly-traded firms; that early adopters are less likely to leave than late adopters; and that the presence of a local network in a country reduces the likelihood of leaving. Based on these findings, we discuss theoretical implications related to MSIs’ output legitimacy, the nature of organizational platforms supporting norm entrepreneurs within MSIs, and the occurrence of legitimacy spillover effects in local networks.
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The environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data provided in firms’ sustainability reports is often unaudited. If ESG information disclosed by firms is not reliable, a firm’s greenwashing behavior can be a barrier to integrating ESG factors into investment decisions. In this paper, we study mechanisms to lessen firms’ greenwashing behavior in ESG dimensions holistically. Firstly, we identify “greenwashers” as firms which seem very transparent and reveal large quantities of ESG data but perform poorly in ESG aspects. By creating peer-relative greenwashing scores for a cross-country dataset comprised by 1925 large-cap firms, we measure the extent to which large-cap firms engage in greenwashing. We find evidence that greenwashing behavior in ESG dimensions can be deterred by scrutiny from (a) independent directors, (b) institutional investors, (c) influential public interests via a less corrupted country system, and (d) being cross-listed. Our results suggest that the two firm-level governance factors are most effective at attenuating firms’ misleading disclosure relating to ESG dimensions.
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Although the literature on multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) for sustainability has grown in recent years, it is scattered across several academic fields, making it hard to ascertain how individual disciplines such as business ethics can further contribute to the debate. Based on an extensive review of the literature on certification and principle-based MSIs for sustainability (n=293 articles), we show that the scholarly debate rests on three broad themes (“the 3Is”): the input into creating and governing MSIs; the institutionalization of MSIs; and the impact that relevant initiatives create. While our discussion reveals the theoretical underpinnings of the 3Is, it also shows that a number of research challenges related to business ethics remain unaddressed. We unpack these challenges and suggest how scholars can utilize theoretical insights in business ethics to push the boundaries of the field. Finally, we also discuss what business ethics research can gain from theory development in the MSI field.
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Human actions have pushed planetary systems beyond their normal range of operation, bringing forth a new geological epoch of its own making. The Anthropocene —the age of humankind—is argued here to represent a failure of the higher education system (and business schools in particular) to prepare society for the challenges of transforming towards true social -ecological sustainability . In turn, it will be demonstrated that adherence to normative ‘mechanistic ’ modes of thought has prevented mainstream business education from effectively engaging with this task, and that a reorientation towards an organicist worldview is required. In doing so, the contours of business education are redefined to embrace holism, social-ecological complexity and ethical care for nature. Two organicist principles—social-ecological systems thinking and positive ecological reciprocity—are presented here as a starting point to imagine a business education fit for purpose in the twenty-first century.
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This article aims to focus on how signatories versus nonsignatories in the U.S. pharmaceutical sector compare with respect to the internal and external stakeholders and principles of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). We seek to answer the question: Do signatories to the UNGC walk the talk better than nonsignatories as determined by a variety of published rankings and data? This research presents an innovative approach to the evaluation of UNGC signatories. It uses several objective and independent data sources to assess a matched group of signatories versus nonsignatories in the U.S. pharmaceutical sector. Signatory organizations in the same sector as determined by SIC codes were matched with nonsignatories on variables such as size and number of employees in U.S. pharmaceutical companies. Then both types of organizations were compared on the following data sources: Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies ratings, ratings by external stakeholders, ratings by employees, unionization data, financial measures, and annual reports to shareholders. Using nonparametric testing the research found there are differences between signatories and nonsignatories in the U.S. pharmaceutical sector for some of the external stakeholder measures and no differences were found for the internal stakeholder measures.
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The purpose of this review article is to connect sociological perspectives on global health to Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual health disparities. This article uses the ecosocial theory of health to analyze the ratification of LGB human rights as a cross‐national contributor to health outcomes for the LGB population. I outline the findings of previous research on this intersection as well as call for more research on this relationship by addressing the gaps within the literature and available data, which have stalled more robust analysis. Finally, I address potential future directions for research including further data collection and attentiveness to national contexts.
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This article traces the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) from its post WWII beginnings in popularity up through the end of the 1990s. The article focuses on definitions or understandings of the concept/construct. It does not focus on actual company practices during this time as they were quite varied. (This article has been ranked #1 most read in the Business and Society journal for years now).
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For several years, the Economic Freedom of the World (EFW) annual reports large set of nations around the world. 1 This index is designed to measure the degree to which a nation's policies and institutions protect its citizens' economic freedom. In this article, we explain the basic methodology employed in constructing the index and summarize the study's findings. What Is Economic Freedom? Any attempt to quantify economic freedom must begin with a solid theoretical under-standing of the concept. The EFW report holds the key ingredients of economic freedom to be personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to compete, and protection of person and property. Institutions and policies are consistent with economic freedom when they provide an infrastructure for voluntary exchange and protect individuals and their property from aggressors who seek to use violence, coercion, and fraud to seize things that do not belong to them. Legal and monetary arrangements are especially important: governments promote economic freedom when they provide a legal structure and a law-enforcement system that protect the property rights of owners and enforce contracts in an even-handed manner. They also enhance economic freedom when they facilitate access to sound money. In some cases, the government itself may provide a currency of stable value. In other instances, it may simply remove obstacles that retard the use of sound money that is 1 The most recent report is Gwartney and Lawson 2004. In this article, we draw heavily from the first chapter of that report.
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National activities to protect the natural environment are on the rise. Conventional explanations of the phenomenon emphasize domestic processes, set in motion by environmental degradation and economic affluence. We propose instead a top-down causal imagery that hinges on a global redefinition of the 'nation-state' to include environmental protection as a basic state responsibility. We test our view using event-history analyses of five indicators of environmentalization: The proliferation of (1) national parks, (2) chapters of international environmental associations, (3) memberships in inter-governmental environmental organizations, (4) environmental impact assessment laws, and (5) environmental ministries in countries around the world over the twentieth century. For all five measures, the top-down global explanation proves stronger than the bottom-up domestic alternative: The global institutionalization of the principle that nation-states bear responsibility for environmental protection drives national activities to protect the environment. This is especially true in countries with dense ties to world society and prolific 'receptor sites,' even when controlling for domestic degradation and affluence. It appears that blueprints of nation-state environmentalization, which themselves become more universalistic over time, are drawn in world society before being diffused to and enacted by individual countries.
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We examine some issues in the estimation of time-series cross-section models, calling into question the conclusions of many published studies, particularly in the field of comparative political economy. We show that the generalized least squares approach of Parks produces standard errors that lead to extreme overconfidence, often underestimating variability by 50% or more. We also provide an alternative estimator of the standard errors that is correct when the error structures show complications found in this type of model. Monte Carlo analysis shows that these “panel-corrected standard errors” perform well. The utility of our approach is demonstrated via a reanalysis of one “social democratic corporatist” model.
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The increased visibility of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and social movements at the international level invites continuing evaluation of the extent and significance of the role they now play in world politics. While the presence of such new actors is easily demonstrated, international relations scholars have debated their significance. The authors argue that the concept of global civil society sets a more demanding standard for the evaluation of transnational political processes than has been applied in prior accounts of transnational activity. Further, most empirical studies of this activity have focused on a limited number of NGOs within a single issue-area. Using three recent UN world conferences as examples of mutual encounters between state-dominated international politics and global civic politics, the authors develop the concept of global civil society to provide a theoretical foundation for a systematic empirical assessment of transnational relations concerning the environment, human rights, and women at the global level.
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Using an event history framework we analyze the adoption rate of national human rights institutions. Neo-realist perspective predicts adoption rates to be positively influenced by favorable national profiles that lower the costs and make it more reasonable to establish these institutions. From a world polity perspective adoption rates will be positively influenced by a world saturated with human rights organizations and conferences, by increasing adoption densities, and by greater linkages to the world polity. We find support for both perspectives in the analysis of the human rights commission. Only the changing state of the world polity is consequential for the founding of the classical ombudsman office. We discuss the national incorporation of international human rights standards and its relevance to issues of state sovereignty and national citizenship.
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Standards have become one of the most important nontariff barriers to trade, especially national product standards that specify design or performance characteristics of manufactured goods. Divergent national standards often inhibit trade, whereas regional and international standards increasingly serve as instruments of trade liberalization. Consequently, the setting of international standards—seemingly technical and apolitical—is rapidly becoming an issue of economic and political salience. But who sets international standards? Who wins, who loses? This article offers a fresh analytical approach to the study of international standards, which the authors call the institutional complementarities approach. It builds on insights from realism and the “Battle of the Sexes” coordination game but emphasizes complementarities of historically conditioned standardization systems at the national level with the institutional structure of standardization at the international level. It posits that, after controlling for other factors that influence involvement in international standardization, differences in institutional complementarities play a critical though largely accidental role in placing firms from different countries or regions in a first- or second-mover position when standardization becomes global. The authors illustrate the insightfulness of this approach through statistical analyses of the first scientific set of data on standards use and standardization, collected by the authors through an international online survey.
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This article investigates the nature of the linkages between trade and labor rights in developing countries. Specifically, we hypothesize that a “California effect” serves to transmit superior labor standards from importing to exporting countries, in a manner similar to the transmission of environmental standards. We maintain that, all else being equal, the labor standards of a given country are influenced not by its overall level of trade openness, but by the labor standards of its trading partners. We evaluate our hypothesis using a panel of 90 developing countries over the period 1986–2002, and we separately examine the extent to which the labor laws and the actual labor practices of the countries are influenced by those of their export destinations. We find that strong legal protections of collective labor rights in a country's export destinations are associated with more stringent labor laws in the exporting country. This California effect finding is, however, weaker in the context of labor rights practices, highlighting the importance of distinguishing between formal legislation and actual implementation of labor rights.
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In theory, corporate social responsibility (CSR) considers private companies as potentially important development agents, particularly in partnership with the government and civil society groups. Following on the first article by Hamann in this issue, which considered the business perspective, this article considers how civil society should respond to the CSR and partnership concepts, with reference to the South African context. Firstly, a critical view of CSR emphasises the need to consider underlying motivations for business to embrace and perpetuate the CSR concept. These may relate to accommodation - the implementation of cosmetic changes to business practice in order to preclude bigger changes - and legitimisation - the influence by business over popular and policy-related discourse in order to define what questions may be asked and what answers are feasible. The second part of the article describes important benefits of the CSR concept for civil society groups, in terms of increased power and rights and hence better negotiating positions. This, however, requires that non-governmental organisations and others proactively engage in shaping the CSR debates, by insisting, inter alia, that CSR be underpinned by corporate accountability. Finally, the article argues that partnerships with business can indeed be beneficial to civil society groups, but that a critical position needs to be maintained within this cooperative approach, namely 'critical cooperation'. Such partnerships will require the strategic use of power-, rights- and interest-based negotiation. Following a brief overview of some recent South African experiences in the mining and chemicals sectors, the article concludes by pointing out the important role of the government in facilitating fair and effective partnerships.
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There is growing recognition that organizational innovations can have a major influence on the geography of economic activity. Yet, little is known about the mechanisms and geographic preconditions underlying their diffusion, particularly at the global level. In this article, we test a series of hypotheses about the conditions under which organizations are most likely to adopt ISO 9000, the internationally recognized set of standards for quality management, using panel data for 130 countries from 1995 to 2001. Our findings support the idea that transnational networks that connect different countries at the international level provide conduits for the cross-national transfer of new organizational practices. Thus, exports to the European Union, local involvement of transnational corporations (TNCs), European colonial ties, and the availability of telecommunications all emerge as statistically significant determinants of ISO adoptions. Our findings also underscore the importance of national environmental conditions in influencing the receptiveness of organizations to new practices. A low regulatory burden, a high share of manufacturing activity, high rates of secondary school enrollment, and low levels of productivity are positively correlated with the number of ISO 9000 certificates. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings for current debates about the mechanisms, preconditions, and scales of organizational transfer, diffusion, and convergence.
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In this article, contrary to "neo-realist" and "neo-liberal" arguments that identify identites and interest as given in the system, the author porposes an alternative system perception based on the hypotheses of "constuctivist" theory focusing on the processes. This constructivist explanation that the author defends questions the main consensus in the literature by emphasizing the proceses and provides alternative explanations. In the first part, the author presents the way main stream theories explain the system and as alternative to them he explores how social proceses create and transform identites and interests. In the second part, the author explains how inter-state relations are formed and transformed with the examples from different types of states and emphasize that this relationship system is a process. In the third part, the author discusses the dynamics that define the structure of international relations by exploring concepts like security and sovereignty. In the conclusion, the author argues that the social dynamics are important in creation of the international system and that these dynamics can transform the system into different structures and that these alternative explanations should be explored more in the literature.
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Despite their availability to firms across the world, uptake of global voluntary standards has proceeded unevenly across countries over time. In this paper we seek to provide new insights into how geography shapes these spatiotemporal variations, focusing on two leading examples of codified voluntarism: ISO 14001 and the Global Compact (GC). In an advance on previous quantitative studies, which have analyzed domestic and nondomestic influences separately, we examine how the internal attributes of place ‘condition’ the influence of transnational spatial dependencies. We find that higher levels of ISO 14001 certification in other economies are more likely to spill over (via transnational linkages) into higher domestic uptake of the standard in wealthier economies, while domestic receptivity to the influence of higher GC adoptions abroad is greater in more democratic countries. Another important advance on previous studies is that we examine the influence of a larger number of measures of transnational economic linkage. Providing evidence of ‘trading-up’ and ‘investing-up’ dynamics, we show that higher densities of ISO 14001 certificates and GC participants in a country’s export and inward foreign direct investment partners are associated with higher levels of domestic uptake of the respective standard. We also find tentative evidence of ‘visiting-up’ dynamics associated with the cross-border movement of businesspeople.
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established numerous voluntary environmental programs over the last fifteen years, seeking to encourage businesses to make environmental progress beyond what current law requires them to achieve. EPA aims to induce beyond-compliance behavior by offering various forms of recognition and rewards, including relief from otherwise applicable environmental regulations. Despite EPA's emphasis on voluntary programs,relatively few businesses have availed themselves of these programs -- and paradoxically, the programs that offer the most significant regulatory benefits tend to have the fewest members. We explain this paradox by focusing on (a) how programs'membership screening corresponds with membership rewards, and (b) how membership levels correspond, in turn, with membership screening. Our analysis of three major case studies, as well as of data we collected on all of EPA's "green clubs," shows that EPA combines greater rewards with more demanding membership screening, which in turn corresponds with lower participation. EPA's behavior can be understood as a response to the political risks the agency faces when it recognizes and rewards businesses it otherwise is charged with regulating. Given the political constraints on EPA's ability to offer significant inducements to business, we predict participation in all but the most inconsequential voluntary environmental programs will remain quite low, thereby inherently limiting the ultimate value of voluntary programs as a strategy for advancing environmental protection.
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The state-based system of global governance has struggled for more than a generation to adjust to the expanding reach and growing influence of transnational corporations, the most visible embodiment of globalization. This paper reviews two recent chapters in this endeavor, focused specifically on human rights: the “Draft Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Regard to Human Rights,” adopted by the United Nations Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights but not by its parent body, the UN Human Rights Commission (since replaced by the Human Rights Council); and the author’s subsequent UN mandate as Special Representative of the Secretary-General “on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises.” The paper analyzes key conceptual flaws of the draft Norms, noting the pitfalls of imposing on corporations, directly under international law, the same range of human rights duties that states have; it presents an empirical mapping of current international standards and practices regarding business and human rights, ranging from the most deeply rooted international legal obligations to voluntary initiatives; and it proposes a strategy for building on existing momentum in order to reduce human rights protection gaps in relation to corporate activities.
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This article examines corporate participation in the UN Global Compact programme. Using data on the world's 2,000 largest companies, we address the question of why companies voluntarily assume the programme's responsibilities and promote the rights of ‘global citizenship’. Our analytic approach is to view transnational corporate political behaviour as a result of firm-level decisions shaped by country-level variation in political audience effects. Drawing on earlier research on more conventional forms of corporate political activity, we expect factors influential in the standard model of firm political activity to determine participation in the Global Compact. In addition, we argue that this highly visible, less instrumental dimension of a firm's political behaviour is driven by efforts to build a good environmental and human rights reputation with its audience of external actors. The importance of environmental and human rights concerns depends on the substance of the firm's business activities, the availability of investment and ‘exit’ options, and the home audience's bias towards the UN and human and environmental rights. We find support for political factors as well as firm and industry-level characteristics influencing the decision to participate in the Global Compact.
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International institutions are central features of moderninternational relations. This is true of trade, international debt andnancial restructuring, and even national security, once the exclusiverealm of pure state action. It was certainly true of the two majormilitary engagements of the 1990s, the wars in Kosovo and the PersianGulf. As international institutions have gained prominence in thepolitical landscape, they have increasingly become prominent topics forstudy. The sharpest debate among researchers has been theoretical: Dointernational institutions really matter? Missing from this debate is asustained inquiry into how these institutions actually work. We shiftthe focus by posing researchable questions about how they operate andhow they relate to the problems states face.
World Development Indicators The UN Global Compact and global governance D. Berliner and A
  • World Bank
World Bank (2009) World Development Indicators. World Bank, Washington, DC. The UN Global Compact and global governance D. Berliner and A. Prakash
Rediscovering Institutions: The Organizational Basis of Politics Setting International Standards: Technological Rationality Or Primacy of Power? World Politics 56
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March JG, Olsen JP (1989) Rediscovering Institutions: The Organizational Basis of Politics. Free Press, New York, NY. Mattli W, Büthe T (2003) Setting International Standards: Technological Rationality Or Primacy of Power? World Politics 56, 1–42.