Governance through global networks and corporate signaling

Oren Perez, Reuven Cohen, Nir Schreiber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


This article exposes a new form of global governance based on an emergent network of corporate social responsibility (CSR) schemes. Our study is the first to uncover the network structure of this system, based on a dataset that includes 61 transnational CSR schemes and 31,987 firms. We demonstrate that the network exhibits a significant level of cohesiveness, despite having evolved without any form of hierarchical control. Drawing on a social network analysis, we find a positive correlation among the sustainability performance of the firms, their membership in CSR schemes, and their network characteristics. We show that membership in multiple schemes and the firms’ position in the CSR-schemes network constitute credible predictors of their sustainability performance, generating a separating equilibrium that distinguishes high from low CSR performers. We develop a model that explains the effectiveness of the CSR-schemes network based on the synergistic properties of the network and on a distinctive signaling dynamic. Our findings highlight the potential contribution of CSR to the resolution of global governance dilemmas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-469
Number of pages23
JournalRegulation and Governance
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd


This research was supported by grant no. 565/17 from the Israel Science Foundation and by a grant from the Ackerman Chair in Israeli Corporate Governance.

FundersFunder number
Israeli Corporate Governance
Israel Science Foundation


    • CSR
    • greenwash
    • multilayered networks
    • network governance
    • synergy
    • transnational regulation


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