Juliane Reinecke, Professor of Management Studies, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

This lecture investigates a core challenge in building private transnational governance institutions: Multiple parties and stakeholders with conflicting interests must negotiate agreement on common commitments. However, this often requires a degree of constructive ambiguity – the deliberate use of imprecise language on a sensitive issue. However, the initially enabling characteristics of constructive ambiguity may complicate implementation when ambiguous commitments must be translated into concrete actions. Often, this is when initial commitments are watered down or reduced to symbolic implementation. By focusing on the Bangladesh Accord for Fire and Building Safety as a collective response among unions, NGOs and over 200 companies to the 2023 Rana Plaza disaster, the research examines how parties confronted constructive ambiguity when building an institution for collective action. It shows that political conflict can be leveraged to deepen parties’ interdependence and lead commitment to escalate beyond initial self-commitment. Findings advance a political process view of collective action that explains how collective rationality evolves in ways that can direct private interests toward collective ends to resolve transnational collective action problems.

Juliane's research draws on insights from organisation theory, political philosophy and process studies to explore, broadly speaking, how transnational governance institutions emerge and evolve as a result of the interactions of multiple stakeholders to promote more just and sustainable forms of globalisation in global supply chains, but also organisations in general.

Her work has been acclaimed by many professional bodies including the Journal of Management Studies (JMS) Best Paper Award, the Best International paper award & Best Environmental and Social Practices paper award, Academy of Management (OMT Division).

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