Institutional Spill-Over by Value Chain Standard Setting: Data Collection Phase

February – March 2014

Maastricht School of Management

Cooperation Partners

  • Maastricht School of Management
  • Wageningen University
  • Partnership Resources Centre

CSBC Experts Involved

  • Dr. Arief Daryanto (IPB)
  • Dikky Indrawan, SP, MM (IPB)
  • Dr. Jeroen van Wijk (MSM)


Brief description

This study searches for evidence of the development of new institutions induced by standard-setting partnerships by looking for ‘institutional spill-over effects’. Such institutional spill-over comprises the diffusion of proto-institutions designed by the one value chain standard partnership to later designed value chain standard developed by a new partnership operating in another sector. Institutional spill-over effects may indicate a widening acceptance of the changes induced by value chain standards in producer countries, encompassing a group of stakeholders with other value chains.

The role of CSBC in this project was the phase of data collection from February-March 2014. The empirical focus of the study is on Indonesia that is involved in multiple global value chain partnerships of which the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the Aqua Stewardship Council (ASC) are the most prominent ones. The RSPO, initiated in 2002, is a European-driven initiative of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Unilever, which connects Southern production and Northern consumption. The RSPO is generally regarded as an initiative that set the trend for the initiation of Roundtables in other commodity chains. Indonesia is responsible for about 45% of global palm oil exports, which greatly contribute to the country’s economic development. The flip side, according to opponents, is that the expansion of production would threat biodiversity hotspots and challenge social rights of local peoples and smallholder integration.

The research project has an explorative nature with two main propositions:

(a) Standard-designing multi-stakeholder partnerships create institutional spill-overs to other issue fields;
(b) Various stakeholder types play different roles in institutional spill-over differs. NGOs and governmental representatives may be more instrumental in this process compared to private sector actors.