Business and Society 57 (4):636-675 (2018)

Meta-governance is Earth system governance for dealing with the global commons. This article develops a whole network approach to meta-governance to explore the potential for collective action for sustainable development by a loosely coupled network of networks. Networked corporate social responsibility governance has emerged around corporate sustainability and responsibility in the first years of the 21st century. Growing agreements and interactions among CSR initiatives suggest the development, structure, and governance of networked CSR governance as a network that can analytically be viewed as a whole and as a platform for learning about systemic change. Using the evolution of CSR initiatives from about 1990 to 2014, the authors differentiate four developmental stages: independent and fragmented multistakeholder networks as CSR governance, collaborative CSR governance, networked CSR governance, and integrated networked CSR governance. The authors then present a framework to analyze networked CSR governance as a whole network experimenting with meta-governance.
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DOI 10.1177/0007650315624205
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