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Advancing the business and human rights agenda. Dialogue, empowerment, and constructive engagement


Mena, S; de Leede, M; Baumann, D; Black, N; Lideman, S; McShane, L (2010). Advancing the business and human rights agenda. Dialogue, empowerment, and constructive engagement. Journal of Business Ethics, 93(1):161-188.

Abstract

As corporations are going global, they are increasingly confronted with human rights challenges. As such, new ways to deal with human rights challenges in corporate operations must be developed as traditional governance mechanisms are not always able to tackle them. This article presents five different views on innovative solutions for the relationships between business and human rights that all build on empowerment, dialogue and constructive engagement. The different approaches highlight an emerging trend toward a more active role for corporations in the protection of human rights. The first examines the need for enhanced dialogue between corporations and their stakeholders. The next three each examine a different facet of empowerment, a critical factor for the respect and protection of human rights: empowerment of the poor, of communities, and of consumers. The final one presents a case study of constructive corporate engagement in Myanmar (Burma). Altogether, these research projects provide insight into the complex relationships between corporate operations and human rights, by highlighting the importance of stakeholder dialogue and empowerment. All the five projects were presented during the Second Swiss Master Class in Corporate Social Responsibility, held in Lausanne, Switzerland on December 12, 2008. The audience for this conference, which examined business and human rights, was composed of researchers, governmental representatives, and business and non-governmental organization practitioners.

Abstract

As corporations are going global, they are increasingly confronted with human rights challenges. As such, new ways to deal with human rights challenges in corporate operations must be developed as traditional governance mechanisms are not always able to tackle them. This article presents five different views on innovative solutions for the relationships between business and human rights that all build on empowerment, dialogue and constructive engagement. The different approaches highlight an emerging trend toward a more active role for corporations in the protection of human rights. The first examines the need for enhanced dialogue between corporations and their stakeholders. The next three each examine a different facet of empowerment, a critical factor for the respect and protection of human rights: empowerment of the poor, of communities, and of consumers. The final one presents a case study of constructive corporate engagement in Myanmar (Burma). Altogether, these research projects provide insight into the complex relationships between corporate operations and human rights, by highlighting the importance of stakeholder dialogue and empowerment. All the five projects were presented during the Second Swiss Master Class in Corporate Social Responsibility, held in Lausanne, Switzerland on December 12, 2008. The audience for this conference, which examined business and human rights, was composed of researchers, governmental representatives, and business and non-governmental organization practitioners.

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15 citations in Web of Science®
17 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:19 Feb 2010 23:24
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:51
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0167-4544
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-009-0188-8

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