Supply chains are a major site of transnational business governance, and yet their dynamics and effectiveness are usually more assumed than interrogated in regulatory governance discourse. The very term ‘chain’ implies a more determinist and simplistic understanding of supply relationships than is empirically supportable. Supply chains in practice are complex, dynamic, and highly variable networks. Based on peer-group presentations by more than sixty supply chain professionals, this chapter analyzes sustainable supply chain management practices in terms of the Transnational Business Governance Interactions framework. It discusses possible refinements of the framework and suggests that sustainable supply chain management (1) is likely to make modest contributions to improving governance capacity, (2) may or may not ratchet up standards, and (3) may help protect marginalized parties, but is focused on better using the existing power of lead firms in supply chains.
Stepan Wood, Burkard Eberlein, Errol Meidinger, Rebecca Schmidt and Kenneth W. Abbott
In what circumstances can transnational business governance interactions (TBGIs)—the myriad overlaps, intersections, conflicts, collisions and synergies amongst the actors and institutions involved in transnational regulation of business activity—be harnessed to enhance the quality of transnational regulation and advance the interests of marginalized actors? This chapter introduces the concept of transnational business governance interactions (TBGIs), summarizes the TBGI analytical framework and defines regulatory quality and marginalized actors. It proposes to investigate the relationship between TBGIs, regulatory quality and marginalized actors at three levels: regulatory capacities, outputs and outcomes. The chapter presents the plan of the book and summarizes the key messages of the chapters.
Stepan Wood, Errol Meidinger, Burkard Eberlein, Rebecca Schmidt and Kenneth W. Abbott
The chapters of this book paint a mixed and not particularly optimistic picture of the prospects for harnessing transnational business governance interactions (TBGIs)—the myriad overlaps, intersections, conflicts, collisions and synergies amongst the actors and institutions involved in transnational regulation of business activity—to improve the quality of transnational regulation and advance marginalized interests. This chapter synthesizes key findings about the impact of TBGIs of regulatory quality and marginalized actors, explores the implications of these findings for identifying and shaping TBGIs that foster regulatory quality or advance marginalized interests, and presents concluding reflections on lessons learned and future research directions.