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Transnational Multi-Stakeholder Standardization

Organizing Fragile Non-State Authority Kristina Tamm Hallström, Associate Professor in Management, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research and Lecturer, Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden and Magnus Boström, Professorship in Sociology, Örebro University, Sweden
This enriching book provides a novel analysis of the organizational processes behind the establishment, maintenance, and challenges of non-state authority. In doing so, it compares three transnational, multi-stakeholder standard-setting processes: those of the Forest Stewardship Council, the Marine Stewardship Council, and the International Organization for Standardization on the subject of social responsibility (ISO 26000). The authors theorize the fragility of authority defined as legitimate power. They examine the problematic nature of the long-term transnational multi-stakeholder work upon which this authority is based, including the risks of being ruled out by competing rule setters or being split apart by the centrifugal forces inherent in the multi-stakeholder logics.
Extent: 224 pp
Hardback Price: $120.00 Web: $108.00
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN: 978 1 84542 904 1
Availability: In Stock
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  • eISBN: 978 1 78100 062 5

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This enriching book provides a novel analysis of the organizational processes behind the establishment, maintenance, and challenges of non-state authority. In doing so, it compares three transnational, multi-stakeholder standard-setting processes: those of the Forest Stewardship Council, the Marine Stewardship Council, and the International Organization for Standardization on the subject of social responsibility (ISO 26000). The authors theorize the fragility of authority defined as legitimate power. They examine the problematic nature of the long-term transnational multi-stakeholder work upon which this authority is based, including the risks of being ruled out by competing rule setters or being split apart by the centrifugal forces inherent in the multi-stakeholder logics.

Scholars of organization studies, sociology, political science, and related disciplines will find this eloquent book of great importance to their field. Practitioners, including standardization experts, managers, management consultants, movement intellectuals, as well as policymakers, should not be without this important book.
‘In this book, Tamm Hallström and Boström provide us with useful tools to make sense of the proliferation of new rules and standards established by multi-stakeholder initiatives. Focusing on cases of the International Organization for Standardization, the Forest Stewardship Council and the Marine Stewardship Council, they examine struggles in the development of legitimate authority for these standards. Their critical analysis highlights the obstacles and problems these initiatives face and seeks to correct what they see as overly optimistic assessments of these developments in the current literature.’
– Jennifer Clapp, University of Waterloo, Canada

‘This book contributes to the lively contemporary exploration of transnational governance in the making. It brings a welcome focus on practices, strategies and conflicts in complex multi-stakeholder processes of standardization. As such, it answers current calls, in the literature, to take the question of power seriously – power struggles in the process of governance making but also power and authority as a result of that process. The question of power and authority in the context of transnational governance in the making is, undoubtedly, our collective new frontier. The type of well-crafted and theoretically informed comparative study proposed by Kristina Tamm Hallström and Magnus Boström is just what we need today to move forward on this frontier.’
– Marie Laure Djelic, ESSEC Business School, France
Contents: 1. Organizing Transnational Multi-Stakeholder Standard Setting 2. Authority as Legitimate Power 3. International Organization for Standardization: A Standard for Social Responsibility 4. Forest Stewardship Council 5. Marine Stewardship Council 6. Actors and Capabilities in the Regulatory Space 7. Dynamics of Preferences and Strategies of Participation 8. Power and Actor Categories 9. Legitimacy in the Making 10. Fragile Non-State Authority: The Long and Winding Road to Legitimate Power References Index