Human Rights and MNEs in Gvcs

Thursday, 2 July 2015: 4:00 PM-5:30 PM
TW1.2.01 (Tower One)
Stefan Zagelmeyer, The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
Mo Yamin, The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
Rudolf Sinkovics, The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
During the past decade, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability topics have gained increasing prominence in the academic management literature. While the economic development and GVC literature streams have arguably started to acknowledge these issues earlier than the IB literatures. In fact, the topic of ‘(international) business and human rights’ is not particularly pronounced in most CSR narratives and deserve a more central role in the CSR debate. Even more so, since the economic and geographical fragmentation of production via globally interconnected GVCs makes these issues even more pronounced for lead firms. This would be in line with the recent endorsement of a set of ‘Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights’ by the United Nations Human Rights Council on 16 June 2011 which has given new impetus to the debate on human rights and multinational enterprises among academics, human rights activists, politicians and managers alike. The ‘Guiding Principles’ provide - for the first time - a global standard for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse impacts on human rights linked to business activity. A particularly pertinent dimension is the UN “Protect, Respect and Remedy” framework. Despite the relevance for multinational enterprises, this framework and the debate on human rights and business more broadly, have so far – with very few exceptions, not received much attention in management and international business research. We seek to address this in this project.