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Standardization as Institutional Work: The Regulatory Power of a Responsible Investment Standard

Slager, R., Gond, J-P. & Moon, J. (2012). Standardization as Institutional Work: The Regulatory Power of a Responsible Investment Standard. Organization Studies, 33(5-6), pp. 763-790. doi: 10.1177/0170840612443628


This paper conceptualizes standardization as institutional work to study the emergence of a standard and the deployment of its regulatory power. We rely on unique access to longitudinal archival data for exploring how the FTSE4Good index, a responsible investment index, emerged as a standard for socially responsible corporate behavior. Our results show how three types of standardization work - calculative framing, engaging and valorizing - support the design, legitimation and monitoring processes whereby a standard acquires its regulatory power. Our findings reveal new facets in the dynamics of standardization by approaching standardization as a product of institutional work and in showing how unintended consequences of that work can be recaptured to strengthen the regulatory power of the standard.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: institutional work, legitimacy, regulatory power, responsible investment, standardization
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
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