From 'Do No Harm' to Doing More Good: Extending the UN Framework to Connect Political CSR with Business Responsibilities for Human Rights

CBDS Working Paper Series Working Paper Nr. 26, 2016

35 Pages Posted: 4 May 2017 Last revised: 31 May 2017

See all articles by Jonas Jonsson

Jonas Jonsson

Copenhagen Business School, Students

Mette Fisker

Copenhagen Business School, Students

Karin Buhmann

Copenhagen Business School (CBS) - CBS Centre for CSR; Dpt of Management, Society and Communication

Date Written: February 11, 2016

Abstract

The literature on Political CSR (PCSR) outlines the political role of corporations, but fails to offer concrete suggestions for businesses to fill governance gaps through provision of public goods. Conversely, the political role of Multi-National Enterprises (MNEs) plays a limited part in the UN Framework on Business and Human Rights, which was adopted by the UN in 2008 and forms the basis for the 2011 UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This paper contributes to connecting the two approaches by drawing on insights from the PCSR literature to theorize on the extent of the human rights responsibilities of MNEs, and combining this with the human rights focus of the UN Framework. Drawing on the existing literature's coverage of MNEs operating in developing countries, we discuss how businesses can improve the respect for and fulfilment of human rights. We propose an 'Extended UN Framework' to help attribute political responsibilities to MNEs that reflect their political power. The Extended Framework combines the original UN Framework's 'do no harm' approach with a leverage-based approach for firms to contribute to delivering public goods that are human rights.

Keywords: Due Diligence, Human Rights, Leverage, Moral Legitimacy, Political CSR, UN Framework

Suggested Citation

Jonsson, Jonas and Fisker, Mette and Buhmann, Karin, From 'Do No Harm' to Doing More Good: Extending the UN Framework to Connect Political CSR with Business Responsibilities for Human Rights (February 11, 2016). CBDS Working Paper Series Working Paper Nr. 26, 2016 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2962360 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2962360

Jonas Jonsson

Copenhagen Business School, Students ( email )

Solbjerg Plads 3
Frederiksberg C
Denmark

Mette Fisker

Copenhagen Business School, Students ( email )

Solbjerg Plads 3
Frederiksberg C
Denmark

Karin Buhmann (Contact Author)

Copenhagen Business School (CBS) - CBS Centre for CSR; Dpt of Management, Society and Communication ( email )

Solbjerg Plads 3
Frederiksberg C, DK - 2000
Denmark

HOME PAGE: http://www.cbs.dk/en/research/departments-and-centres/department-of-intercultural-communication-and-

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