Transnational private governance organizations (TPGOs) set standards for various sustainability issues and industries. TPGOs individually address only facets of larger problems such as land conversion, and competition among TPGOs also affects TPGO governance, meaning coordination across their activities can be required. Studies have shown that ties between TPGOs and other organizations facilitate information sharing, coordination and socialization. A systematic analysis of the structure of such ties, however, is lacking. Using the employment ties of staff and governors, we analyse the inter-organizational communities of TPGOs that focus on agriculture. Our findings cast doubt on the existence of a coherent community of sustainable agricultural TPGOs: very few communities involve multiple TPGOs. While TPGOs with a similar product focus may form links with similar organizations, there are few direct and indirect ties among TPGOs. Researchers should therefore be cautious about assuming that a TPGO policy community crossing organizational and policy divides currently exists.

Additional Metadata
Keywords AGRICULTURE, EMPLOYMENT TIES, SOCIAL NETWORKS, SUSTAINABILITY, TRANSNATIONAL PRIVATE GOVERNANCE ORGANIZATION (TPGO), VOLUNTARY STANDARDS
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1111/glob.12097
Journal Global Networks
Citation
Fransen, L. (Luc), Schalk, J. (Jelmer), & Auld, G. (2016). Work ties beget community? Assessing interactions among transnational private governance organizations in sustainable agriculture. Global Networks, 16(1), 45–67. doi:10.1111/glob.12097