Actor and Institutional Dynamics in the Development of Multi-stakeholder Initiatives
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As forms of private self-regulation, multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) have emerged as an important empirical phenomenon in global governance processes. At the same time, MSIs are also theoretically intriguing because of their inherent double nature. On the one hand, MSIs spell out CSR standards that define norms for corporate behavior. On the other hand, MSIs are also the result of corporate and stakeholder behavior. We combine the perspectives of institutional theory and club theory to conceptualize this double nature of MSIs. Based on a stage model that looks at the interplay of actor and institutional dynamics, we generate insights into why actors join a voluntary MSI, how the various motivations and intentions of the actors influence the standard development, and how these as well as the MSI design are subsequently influenced by both external (institutional) and internal (club) dynamics.
KeywordsBusiness self-regulation Global governance Management of diverse interests Multi-stakeholder initiatives Political role of the firm Soft law Club theory Institutional theory Institutional entrepreneurship
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