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Kontrollorganiseringens mångfald: En kartläggning av hållbarhetsmärkningars kontrollorganisering internationellt och nationellt i Sverige
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE). Handelshögskolan i Stockholm.
2013 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In today’s society many products, of various descriptions, display labels claiming that theproduction of the item is either sustainable, environmentally friendly, fair to the people responsible for producing it, or ecological. In order to be approved to use such labels, the producer needs to prove compliance with certain criteria of a labelling standard. While much research has taken an interest in the processes of setting such standards and how this work is organized to become legitimate, little scholarly attention has so far been placed on the organization of the control activity (audit) required before a producer may use the label on its products. Based on a study conducted through qualitative interviews with people whorepresent different functions [SG1] of control within the labelling industry, an account is made of the organization of control of large Swedish as well as international sustainability and organic labels. The findings are discussed in terms of a number of identified ideals regarding the organization of control of compliance. The analysis reveals that the organization of control on an international level is converging to the norm of separated control levels and functions. In practice this means that standard writing is organizationally separated from the certification function, which is performed by independent certification firms, and that the accreditationfunction (i.e. a “certification of the certifier”) is performed by yet another independent organization. Consequently, at the international level we may observe a growing bureaucratization linked to the control function of labels, driven by the ideal of independen tcontrol which is promoted through the EU regulatory framework of certification and accreditation. In the case of Sweden, the analysis reveals a polarised ideal of organization of the control function of labels. Especially within organic labelling, we observe convergence to the norm of separated control levels, at the same time as some labels within Swedish environmental labelling have resisted separation of control from the standard writing function, thus deviating from the norm that dominates within the EU as well as internationally. Through the rich empirical account of the so far neglected organization of certification and accreditation within labelling initiatives, the study contributes to the literature about transnational governance and non-state certification initiatives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SCORE rapportserie, ISSN 1404-5052 ; 2013:5
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-96781OAI: diva2:667463
Available from: 2013-11-26 Created: 2013-11-26 Last updated: 2013-11-26

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