A new research article that unravels the dynamics of global-local interactions has been produced by the Partnerships Resource Centre (PrC) at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). The article, written by PrC’s Greetje Schouten and Sietze Vellema, together with Jeroen van Wijk of Maastricht School of Management was published in the scientific periodical Revista de Administração de Empresas (RAE). The article explores the diffusion of global sustainability standards created by multi-stakeholder partnerships of multinationals and international NGOs.

The article, Diffusion of global sustainability standards: the institutional fit of the ASC-shrimp standard in Indonesia argues that the transformative capacity of global partnerships to bring about sustainable change largely depends on how well the institutional features of global sustainability standards fit local organisational fields. It therefore unravels the dynamics of global-local interactions, and proposes that the concept of institutional fit is operationalised to assess whether and how the technical, cultural and political characteristics intrinsic to global sustainability standards are able to connect to local projects, strategies and practices.

The authors used the introduction of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council’s (ASC) standard into the Indonesian shrimp sector as a case to investigate these interactions. Their article shows that a process of fitting occurs when provisional institutions generated within a global partnership can be modified. The researchers also argue that global sustainability standards can benefit from steering more explicitly towards dovetailing regulative and normative structures of global and local organisational fields.

Local NGOs can play important mediating roles in this regard, which can potentially increase the transformative capacity of global standards in terms of generating and accelerating sustainable change, the authors conclude.

The article can be downloaded from RAE here.

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