Making Corporations Responsible: The Parallel Tracks of the B Corp Movement and the Business and Human Rights Movement

41 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2017

See all articles by Joanne Bauer

Joanne Bauer

Columbia University - Institute for the Study of Human Rights

Elizabeth Umlas

University of Fribourg (Switzerland)

Date Written: Fall 2017

Abstract

The business and human rights (BHR) movement shares several goals with the Benefit Corporation (B Corp) movement: corporations respecting human rights; maintaining a “wide aperture” so that all impacts of a company on people and communities are addressed; and creating rigorous standards of conduct and means of accountability. This paper argues that nonetheless the movements are traveling along parallel tracks and thus missing an opportunity for mutual learning that can improve their effectiveness. The BHR movement can look to B Corps for concrete examples of viable companies that value human rights intrinsically and not just where there is a “business case” to do so. The B Impact Assessment, the B Corp certification tool, can better ensure that B Corps are in fact respecting human rights by adopting BHR standards. And both movements must give greater consideration to the potential contradiction between unlimited scaling—a key goal of B Corps—and the ability of large multinational corporations to respect human rights.

Suggested Citation

Bauer, Joanne and Umlas, Elizabeth, Making Corporations Responsible: The Parallel Tracks of the B Corp Movement and the Business and Human Rights Movement (Fall 2017). Business and Society Review, Vol. 122, Issue 3, pp. 285-325, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3032756 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/basr.12118

Joanne Bauer (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Institute for the Study of Human Rights ( email )

91 Claremont Avenue
Floor 7T, Mail Code 3365
New York, NY 10027
United States

Elizabeth Umlas

University of Fribourg (Switzerland) ( email )

Fribourg, CH 1700
Switzerland

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
0
Abstract Views
221
PlumX Metrics