Title: The United Nations Global Compact: the business implementation and accountability challenge

Authors: Thomas A. Hemphill

Addresses: Department of Strategic Management and Public Policy, School of Business, The George Washington University, 710 21st St., NW, Monroe 203, Washington, D.C. 20052, USA

Abstract: The United Nations Global Compact, the world|s largest voluntary corporate citizenship initiative, has enrolled over 1500 companies and two dozen Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and labour groups from over 70 countries since its inception in 2000. There is, however, a vocal chorus of critics of the Global Compact (primarily from the NGO community) that focus their criticisms on: the questionable level of participating company compliance with the ten principles that define the Global Compact (which address human rights, labour, environmental, and corruption issues); the lack of transparency of actual company results to outside auditors. In this paper, I offer a coherent set of recommendations that strengthen a self-regulation regime whose purpose is enhancing the efficacy of the Global Compact and transnational corporate citizenship. These recommendations focus on implementing a systematic approach to corporate accountability and transparency that is built on a foundation of the Global Compact|s ten principles.

Keywords: accountability; codes of conduct; transnational corporate citizenship; global compact; globalisation; non-governmental organisations; NGOs; principles; self-regulation; transparency; United Nations; human rights; labour; environment; corruption.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBGE.2005.006714

International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, 2005 Vol.1 No.4, pp.303 - 316

Published online: 04 Apr 2005 *

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