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Beyond GreenwashExplaining Credibility in Transnational Eco-Labeling$
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Hamish van der Ven

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190866006

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190866006.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 August 2021

A Targets-of-Governance Approach to Explaining Procedural Credibility

A Targets-of-Governance Approach to Explaining Procedural Credibility

(p.60) Chapter 3 A Targets-of-Governance Approach to Explaining Procedural Credibility
Beyond Greenwash

Hamish van der Ven

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the targets of governance condition the procedural credibility of eco-labeling organizations. Eco-labeling organizations that target large firms and seek global market presence—those that aim big—are more likely to follow best practices than those with narrower ambitions. The chapter details three causal mechanisms through which this relationship occurs. First, the heightened critical scrutiny that accompanies aiming big leads ELOs to demonstrate concern for procedural credibility out of a fear of reputational damages from negative media or NGO attention. Second, as ELOs expand their market presence, they seek legitimacy by including a growing community of stakeholders in decision-making. This heightened inclusiveness socializes key decision-makers in a way that reinforces a commitment to procedural credibility. Third, the increased revenues derived from targeting large firms helps ELOs competently perform the various dimensions of best practice. The chapter outlines a number of testable implications.

Keywords:   targets of governance, aiming big, critical scrutiny, democratic legitimacy, stakeholder democracy, socialization, organizational capacity, global value chain, best practice, multi-stakeholder governance

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