Institutional Predictors of and Complements to Industry Self-regulation with Regard to Labor Practices


  • Final version for Business and Society Review, February 2011 (slightly modified June 2012).


In recent years, there has been increasing managerial and academic attention given to a variety of mechanisms for companies to respond to stakeholder concerns about global business ethics. One area that merits further analysis is the role of industry-level cooperation regarding issues in global business ethics such as labor practices. There are two main issues that we will address in this article: institutional pressures that predict when an industry will create a code of conduct and institutional complements for an industry-level code of conduct to be “successful” with regard to responding to stakeholder concerns about international business operations. We offer a number of propositions—bringing together work from both the corporate social responsibility and (neo)institutional theory literatures—with regard to both predictors and complements of industry self-regulation in reference to labor practices.