Do No Harm and Do More Good Too: Connecting Business and Human Rights with Political CSR to Identify Business Opportunities for Contributing to the SDGs

Forthcoming, Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, DOI: 10.1108/CG-01-2018-0030

20 Pages Posted: 23 May 2019

See all articles by Karin Buhmann

Karin Buhmann

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

Jonas Jonsson

Copenhagen Business School, Students

Mette Fisker

Copenhagen Business School, Students

Date Written: December 10, 2018

Abstract

Purpose: Explaining how companies can benefit from their human rights due diligence process to identify opportunities for Sustainable Develop Goal (SDG) activities in an operationalisation of political corporate social responsibility (PCSR).

Design/methodology/approach: Combining PCSR, SDGs and business & human rights (BHR) literatures, the article develops an extension of the risk-based due diligence process described by the BHR literature, helping companies identify societal needs to which they may contribute in accordance with PCSR through engaging in the SDGs.

Findings: Companies can benefit from resources they already invest in due diligence to identify their adverse human rights impacts, by drawing on the insights gained on broader needs, including human rights, to which they may contribute. This can help them develop appropriate interventions to address local needs and advance their moral legitimacy through assisting in SDG-relevant fulfilment of human rights.

Research limitations/implications: The article provides theory-based guidance on how companies can assess their capacity for contributing societal value through human-rights-oriented SDG-interventions. Future empirical research may explore how companies apply the extended due diligence process to assess needs and determine relevant actions.

Practical implications: The article offers a principle-based analytical approach for integrating the ‘do-no-harm’ imperative of BHR theory with PCSR’s call for business assistance in the delivery of public goods and the SDGs' call for business action to ‘do good’.

Social implications: Enhanced business implementation of the SDGs in line with PCSR and human rights theory, especially the emergent field of Business & Human Rights.

Originality/value: Theory-based guidance for companies for SDG contributions based on innovative combination of literatures.

Keywords: Human Rights, Impact Assessment, Leverage, Moral Legitimacy, Political CSR, Risk-Based Due Diligence, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Suggested Citation

Buhmann, Karin and Jonsson, Jonas and Fisker, Mette, Do No Harm and Do More Good Too: Connecting Business and Human Rights with Political CSR to Identify Business Opportunities for Contributing to the SDGs (December 10, 2018). Forthcoming, Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, DOI: 10.1108/CG-01-2018-0030 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3376681 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3376681

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-

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

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