In every country and each sector, corporations have human rights impact and responsibilities. Corporate-related human rights issues have ranged from killings in Nigeria’s oil-rich Delta to labour abuses against migrant cleaners in London. With the increasing globalization of business operations and media exposure, stakeholders are successfully insisting that companies be held to international human rights standards. To their detriment, many corporate leaders have failed to keep pace.
This module addresses the human rights dimensions that future corporate leaders need to understand for a variety of multinational operations. It also examines frameworks of corporate social responsibility (CSR), which companies have often used to manage their human rights impact. Moreover, the module discusses the key schools of business ethics, which serve as a foundation for both CSR and business and human rights.
The module is case-based, with students analysing recent corporate cases from across the world. The lectures and readings provide the theoretical framework for understanding emerging challenges in business and human rights.
The aims of this module are to:
Explore the meaning of human rights standards and understand their importance in business
Analyse the ways in which multinational companies manage human rights liability
Manage human rights strategies in a global context
Understand how companies respond effectively to criticism of human rights-related issues
Explore emerging challenges in business and human rights
Explanations of human rights and their relation to business
Antecedents and evolution of business and human rights in the global context
Implementation of human rights strategies in a global context, including within CSR programs
Issues encountered by multinational companies in managing human rights impacts
How companies handle legal liability for human rights-related issues.
Future potential of business and human rights in a global context
Criticism of various approaches to business and human rights
100% coursework components, comprising:
- 40% is based on a 2,000-word individual essay
- 40% is based on a 3,000 word group project
- 20% is based on class participation
Clapham, A (2007). Human Rights: A Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford UP.
Griseri P. & N. Seppala (2010). Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility. Andover, Hampshire: Cengage.
Current case studies on human rights-related challenges faced by multinational businesses.