While the importance and key features of transnational benchmarking have received increased attention in recent years, the organisational contexts of this benchmarking have not yet been analysed systematically enough. Drawing on actor-network theory, this article identifies two key aspects of these contexts. The first is embeddedness, which refers to the degree to which there are networks that carry information and action from the benchmark to its contexts and back that are sustained institutionally, including by technical artefacts, objects, and routine local practices. Embeddedness is critical to the effectiveness of benchmarking. The second is publicness, which refers to the degree to which these networks exhibit expanding flows of information across widening circles of engagement, or instead are marked by control, domination, and exclusion. The article argues that benchmarking as a form of governance has an inherent impetus toward greater publicness, although this can be prevented by self-interested actors or problems associated with embeddedness. The article then explores the relevance of these conceptual points by examining cases of transnational benchmarking: disaster risk reduction and supply chain management.