Experimental institution building: How innovative governance emerged in response to Rana Plaza



How do new global regulatory institutions emerge to govern adverse human rights impacts of global supply chains? Developing country contexts often suffer from a lack of well-established and functioning institutions and governance structures to prevent widespread human rights violations. Institution-building is complicated by strategic uncertainty resulting from increasingly complex webs of transnational, inter-organizational relationships, the wickedness of problems and multiplicity of actors involved, which has overwhelmed conventional hierarchical governance. We use a pragmatist approach to examine how actors negotiated and implemented an institutional innovation, the Bangladesh Accord for Fire and Building Safety in response to the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster. We show how actors cycle through processes of problem solving, reflexivity and deliberative bargaining as they build and embed new governance institutions in local environments amidst strategic uncertainty, complexity, and resistance. Rather than institutional creation or reproduction, the findings highlight the role of experimentation in transnational institution-building: This allows for a degree of ambiguity to be built into governance institutions to create multi-actor commitment alongside adaptive flexibility.

Seminar Series on Grand Challenges in Management and Organizations
This event is part of the Seminar Series on Grand Challenges in Management and Organizations. We have invited leading researchers from business schools around the world who connect grand challenges to mainstream management and organizational theory and manage to publish their work in the leading journals of our field (AMJ, AMR, etc.). Each of the invited speakers will deliver a seminar and in addition to this will offer a short informal workshop as well.

March 29 Mark de Rond: Ethnography of war hospital in Afghanistan  
April 19 Juliane Reinecke: Social movements, framing and standard setting in societal change 
May 24 Andreas Scherer: Making Sense of decoupling through narration: The Case of Anti-Corruption

After summer Roy Suddaby: Title and exact date to be announced 
Tina Dacin: Title and date to be announced