Natalia Aguilar Delgado Finalist for the Emerald Best International Dissertation Award

Published: 18 July 2017

The dissertation of Desautels PhD alumna Natalia Aguilar Delgado was selected as finalist for the Emerald Best International Dissertation Award of the Academy of Management 2017.  

Professor Paola Perez-Aleman was the supervisor of her research.

Natalia graduated in June 2017 and is currently an Assistant Professor of International Business at HEC Montreal. 

Resourcing for Inclusion in Transnational Governance: The Work of Indigenous Peoples in the Nagoya Protocol


Existing research points to a proliferation of new global institutions that regulate, guide and monitor social interactions and activities across national territories in recent years. This phenomenon is accompanied by the efforts of non-state actors to influence these global regulations. Little is known about what the affected communities do to become active participants in global governance despite limited access to resources to engage in these processes. How do marginalized actors work for their inclusion in the process of creating a new global institution?

This thesis presents a novel understanding of how vulnerable and under-resourced actors become more included in creating institutions that are consequential for them. The research context is the construction of a new global regulation in the United Nations, the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit-sharing for bioprospecting, that is, the exploration of biodiversity for commercially valuable genetic and biochemical resources. This study focuses on the work of indigenous peoples, non-state actors historically excluded from policy-making and in a disadvantaged position for shaping this new institution that affects the access to their traditional knowledge. The research builds on a multi-event ethnography using as units of analysis the intergovernmental meetings taking place from 2011 to 2014, based on various data sources: participant observation, documentation, and interviews. The results point to the emergence of the mechanism “resourcing work”, or the recursive process through which interactions and relationships enable the creation of resources and affect the actors’ positions in different negotiation spaces where institutions are created. The mechanism includes three different types of resourcing: organizational, discursive, and material. Based on the findings, I elaborate a model for inclusion in institutional creation that captures the continuous interplay among “negotiation spaces”, “positions”, and “resourcing work” as events evolve over time.

This research contributes to the transnational governance literature by illuminating the practices of non-state actors in creating resources that affect changes in positions, rules and understandings, affecting their participation and inclusion. Furthermore, it advances the literature on institutional work by demonstrating a key mechanism for increased agency in institutional creation processes, improving understanding of the antecedents of institutional work. In addition, the findings expand the literature on resourcing, by accounting for power differentials and the role of context, and developing a typology of the practices involved in creating the varied resources required for inclusive governance.


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