Title: Corporate human rights responsibility and multinationality in emerging markets - a legal perspective for corporate governance and responsibility

Authors: Sascha-Dominik Bachmann; Vijay Pereira

Addresses: Executive Business Centre EB405, Bournemouth University, 89 Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth, BH8 8EB, UK ' Centre for Organisation Research and Development (CORD), Dept. of Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management, University of Portsmouth, Richmond Building, Portland Street, Portsmouth, Hants, PO1 3DE, UK

Abstract: This 'perspective' paper highlights the evolving concept and idea of corporate human rights responsibility (CHRR) under international law. The paper thus aims to rectify the scarcity of such a notion within the existing frameworks, and its related significance to other concepts of corporate responsibility and governance. This paper develops and builds upon the emerging concept of CHRR in the context of emerging market multinationality (EMM), by proposing that multinational corporation (MNCs) be more proactive in taking on board CHRR within their corporate governance (CG) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) agendas, so as to avoid future risks of being sued and taken to court. The current literature suggests paucity and underrepresentation of research on the legal facets of human right responsibilities on the part of MNCs in emerging economies such as India. The 'ghost' of the Bhopal tragedy 27 years ago in India still haunts us and has resurfaced with Dow Chemicals, then Union Carbide, who was responsible for the tragedy, also having sponsored the 2012 London Olympics, and gained more bad press, than good. This study thus specifically looks at India, through the 'unique', chronological and time-line (longitudinal) case of Bhopal, to elucidate our concept of CHRR.

Keywords: India; Bhopal case; corporate human rights responsibility; CHRR; corporate social responsibility; CSR; good corporate governance; business guidelines; multinationality; emerging markets; legal perspective; international law; multinational corporations; MNCs.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBGE.2014.062770

International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, 2014 Vol.9 No.1, pp.52 - 67

Received: 02 Aug 2013
Accepted: 07 Mar 2014

Published online: 12 Jun 2014 *

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