The regulatory power of business norms: a call for a new research agenda.

Kollman, K. (2008) The regulatory power of business norms: a call for a new research agenda. International Studies Review, 10(3), pp. 397-419. (doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2486.2008.00798.x)

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What role do international business norms play in regulating the behavior of firms? Despite growing acceptance of the constructivist claim that norms play an important role in international life and an increased interest in private authority by international relations (IR) scholars, surprisingly little research in the field has explored the extent or mechanisms by which norms influence the behavior of firms. I argue this oversight has more to do with the bias in political science against viewing firms as social or socializable institutions than with the applicability of constructivist theory to firms or markets. To make this argument I examine the spread of sustainability norms across transnational business networks and illustrate how theories of socialization developed by IR constructivist scholars can help explain the rapid spread of these norms and the effects they have on corporate environmental governance. The paper ends with a call for more research on the effects of international business norms and makes several suggestions for how to counteract the bias in political science against doing so.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kollman, Professor Kelly
Authors: Kollman, K.
Subjects:J Political Science > JZ International relations
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:International Studies Review
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN (Online):1468-2486
Published Online:22 August 2008

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