Nongovernmental organizations as institutional actors in international business: theory and implications
Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have emerged as major actors in international business. NGOs have assumed a particularly prominent role in influencing the interaction between business and governments over the terms of international business rules, norms, and practices, especially the conditions applied to international investment projects. In this paper, we argue that the rise of NGOs as important institutional actors requires new perspectives on state-firm interactions in an era of increasing globalization. Host governments and multinational corporations (MNCs) must now critically assess the potential impact of nongovernmental actors on investment plans and projects. Drawing from institutional, agency, and stakeholder theory, we develop a model to help organizations evaluate and assess the relative importance of NGOs to the stability and longevity of international investment projects and the emergent impact of NGOs on investment projects at different stages of the investment cycle. We use the specific circumstance of infrastructure privatization and state-owned enterprise restructuring to demonstrate the potential value of this perspective to MNCs and host governments. We suggest this approach is also useful in evaluating classes of other stakeholders, and in examining other situations in which governments, companies, and NGOs negotiate over the terms of international business exchanges.
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Volume (Year): 11 (2002)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
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