Private and hybrid standard setting bodies (SSBs) have assumed important regulatory functions across different domains of manufacturing. These SSBs operate in regulatory environments that have been characterized as complex and ‘polycentric’. This article departs from the understanding that the evolution and resilience of these SSBs over time depends on their ability to respond and adapt to changes and challenges within their external environment. SSBs can ensure their continued relevance and build resilience by meeting these challenges and realizing transformations within their organisation. This article presents a new analytical framework to investigate SSBs and their responses within their polycentric environment. This framework has theoretical foundations in law, politics and sociology. It integrates key aspects of the existing theoretical perspectives on transnational private regulation, political and sociological legitimacy, legitimacy and accountability dynamics in polycentric regimes, and institutional entrepreneurship. This model, in its application to practice, enables a more holistic understanding of SSBs and their responses. It also allows for an appreciation of the complexity of SSBs, their internal dynamics and diversity, and continuously evolving nature. This framework, and the polycentric environment in which SSBs operate, is important to understanding how SSBs have evolved and built resilience over time. This article applies the framework to empirically investigate how the Forest Stewardship Council and the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance have responded to changes and challenges in their environment at critical moments in their history and have realized transformations that have ensured their continued relevance and success. These SSBs view a key role for individuals acting as ‘institutional enterpreneurs’ in driving change and transformations within SSBs. This study shed light on the drivers and shapers behind the decisions and actions of these individuals. Institutional entrepreneurs of other SSBs can use this framework to explore types of interventions that can build the resilience of their SSBs.
|Publication status||Submitted - 2021|
|Event||IASC 2021 Polycentricity Virtual Conference - Online|
Duration: 17 May 2021 → 19 May 2021
|Conference||IASC 2021 Polycentricity Virtual Conference|
|Period||17/05/21 → 19/05/21|