Stakeholders’ Influence and Contribution to Social Standards Development: The Case of Multiple Stakeholder Approach to ISO 26000 Development
We present an empirical investigation on how multiple stakeholders can influence and contribute to a standard development process. Based on the analysis of comments submitted by stakeholders developing ISO 26000 standard for social responsibility, we found no significant differences between the ratio of accepted and non-accepted comments among various stakeholder groups; however, we conclude that industry is the most influential stakeholder due to the volume of the comments. We also present a set of processes that stakeholders follow to influence and contribute to standards development, namely to (1) eliminate issues that are controversial and undesirable; (2) link and integrate the standard into a network of other documents and ISO standards; (3) seek consensus by highlighting areas for further dialogue or by addressing their exclusion from the standards development, (4) reinforce issues that are important; and (5) improve the content of the new standard. In conclusion, we provide a set of propositions about multi-stakeholder standards development and compare multi-stakeholder involvement in standards developed through a new committee established in existing standards setting organization [i.e., Committees within the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)] and through new standards setting organizations established for one specific task (i.e., Forest Stewardship Council). We envisage that our study will be a useful platform to monitor and evaluate future developments of ISO 26000 and other multi-stakeholder standards. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012
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