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Book part

Arzu Özsözgün Çalişkan

The United Nations Global Compact initiative is presented for businesses and nonbusiness as a universally accepted set of principles. The aim of the 10 principles in the…

Abstract

Purpose

The United Nations Global Compact initiative is presented for businesses and nonbusiness as a universally accepted set of principles. The aim of the 10 principles in the areas of Human Rights, Labor, Environment, and Anticorruption is to encourage businesses to align their operations and strategies with committed values. The Global Compact network involves not only companies but also governments, labor, and civil society organizations. Corporations, community, and environment are integral parts of a system that correlate to each other. In light of the assumption that business operations have increasingly observable effects on the environment, economy, and social life on a global scale, it is necessary to have accountable and sustainable firms. The Global Compact is a voluntary strategic policy initiative, and it has become more important in where interactions between organizations and stakeholders to be more dynamic. On the other hand, sustainability has economic, social, and environmental dimensions, and in accordance with these dimensions, it is necessary for firms to take into account the influence of their operations on their stakeholders. Thereby, from theoretical perspectives, the primary objective of this chapter is to illustrate the role of Global Compact in corporate accountability and sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

An extensive literature research is conducted in order to understand the relationship between Global Compact principles and corporate accountability and sustainability.

Findings

From a theoretical point of view, there are some conditions for the advancement of the corporate accountability and sustainability. For instance, there is need for stakeholders’ insistence about incorporating social and environmental values into the business economic decisions. Thus firms could contribute to not only worlds’ economic but also social as well as environmental future.

Research limitations/implications

The research is a theoretical study, but for further studies, empirical studies can be conducted to understand the interactions between Global Compact principles and corporate accountability and sustainability.

Practical implications

This study may be useful for managers to realize the role of Global Compact principles on corporate accountability and its contribution to being a sustainable firm.

Originality/value

There is a lack of studies that analyze the role of Global Compact principles on corporate accountability and sustainability. Examining the principles in light of corporate accountability and sustainability will add a value to the literature in this area.

Details

The UN Global Compact: Fair Competition and Environmental and Labour Justice in International Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-295-1

Keywords

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Book part

Maria Alejandra Gonzalez-Perez and Liam Leonard

This chapter examines roles and challenges for corporations in addressing Post 2015 world development objectives. Specifically it does review the contributions and…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter examines roles and challenges for corporations in addressing Post 2015 world development objectives. Specifically it does review the contributions and opportunities of the principles of the Global Compact and other social responsibility initiatives for embedding corporate contribution to sustainable markets and societal development.

Methodology/approach

The results presented in this chapter are based on analysis of secondary sources and a literature review to determine conceptual and theoretical frameworks for identifying assumptions and challenges of corporate sustainability in the Post 2015 era.

Findings

It was found that although there are neither academic nor activist definitive consensuses regarding positive impacts of adopting the UN Global Compact principles for sustainability, the impacts of committed corporations, organisations and association are multiplying societal understanding of the implications in societies, governments and markets of violating human and labour rights, degrading and not protecting the environment, and having corruption.

Practical implications

This chapter could be used as teaching material for undergraduate and master courses of corporate social responsibility, business ethics, sustainability, operations management and strategy.

Originality/value

This chapter discusses firms’ responsibilities regarding world development objectives in a Post 2015 world.

Details

Beyond the UN Global Compact: Institutions and Regulations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-558-1

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Book part

Harish C. Chandan

This chapter discusses how businesses can create alignment between their corporate sustainability (CS) efforts that focus on the triple bottom line of the financial…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter discusses how businesses can create alignment between their corporate sustainability (CS) efforts that focus on the triple bottom line of the financial, environmental, and social, and the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact in the four core areas of environment, human rights, labor standards, and anticorruption.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the literature review, the relationship between CS and corporate responsibility is presented. Creating alignment between CS management and Global Compact initiatives requires knowledge of the Global Reporting Initiative (G4-GRI), third-party CS rankings, green supply chain management, and anticorruption strategies.

Findings

UN Global Compact is an international forum to promote and self-report CS and corporate social responsibility [Bitanga & Bridwell, 2010. CS is achieved through a triple bottom line – financial, environmental, and social (Hutchins & Sutherland, 2008). For CS management, businesses use four strategies including defensive, cost-benefit, strategic, and innovation/learning [Buchholtz & Carroll, 2008; Egbeleke, Journal of Management and Sustainability, 4(2), 92–105 (2014); Epstein, 2008; Epstein, Buhovac, & Yuthas, 2010]. The UN G4-GRI is the most widely used comprehensive sustainability reporting standard in the world (G4-GRI, 2013). Third-party, industry sector-specific CS ratings reinforce the self-reported sustainability reports. Each firm has to conduct their own CS cost-benefit analysis to determine how CS practices can lead to value creation for sustained competitive advantage. Creating alignment with Global Compact initiatives offers firms a marketing advantage. Conducting business in accordance with the Global Compact is a value-increasing business strategy [Kaspereit & Lopatta, 2011; Lopatta & Kaspereit, 2014; Michelon, Corporate Reputation Review, 14(2), 79–96 (2011)]. Green supply chain management is essential for CS (Penfield, 2014). Four prevailing anticorruption frameworks or intervention policy approaches include law enforcement, economics, moralism, and cultural relativism (Bellows, 2013). There is little sustainability reporting in the government and public-sector organizations (Adams, Muir, & Hoque, 2014).

Research limitations/implications

It is difficult to quantify the financial and social benefits of aligning the CS efforts with the 10 principles of UN Global Compact [Parisi, Journal of Management and Governance, 17(1), 71–97 (2013); Nilipour & Nilipour, Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, 3(9), 1084–1092 (2012)]. The environmental impact can be easily quantified.

Practical implications

As the primary driver of globalization, businesses and other organizations can help ensure that markets, commerce, technology, and finance advance in ways that benefit environment, economies, and societies in both developed and developing countries leading to sustained development.

Originality/value of the chapter

The role of green supply chain management and anticorruption strategies in CS management is explored.

Details

The UN Global Compact: Fair Competition and Environmental and Labour Justice in International Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-295-1

Keywords

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Article

Kalle Johannes Rose

Recent research has emphasized the need for engaging non-financial companies in combating money laundering for the efforts to be efficient and effective. To incentivize…

Abstract

Purpose

Recent research has emphasized the need for engaging non-financial companies in combating money laundering for the efforts to be efficient and effective. To incentivize engagement, several options are available, such as regulation, voluntary disclosure or commitment to international principles such as the United Nations (UN) Global Compact. The purpose of this paper is to analyze how anti-money laundering fits the aim of the UN Global compact and how anti-money laundering can support the other principles of the UN Global Compact. Furthermore, this paper addresses the necessity to include anti-money laundering in the core principles to reach the overall goal of sustainability by the UN Global Compact. Such an inclusion will incentivize the signatories of the UN Global Compact to include anti-money laundering as a part of their social responsibilities, helping the financial sector in combating money laundering.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology of this paper is a functional approach to law and economics. It seeks to enhance the efficiency of the regulatory framework combating money laundering by including economic incentive theory and addressing new areas of law.

Findings

The paper finds a strong relationship between the UN Global Compact and anti-money laundering. Furthermore, it is concluded that it is necessary to include anti-money laundering as a core principle in the UN Global Compact if the Global Compact is to be efficient and effective in terms of its sustainability goals. The reason being that money laundering to a great extent supplies operational finances to the illegitimate sector related to core issues of the UN Global Compact such as human trafficking, child labor and corruption.

Originality/value

The paper identifies a significant missing element with regard to the core principles of the UN Global Compact. Although most research within anti-money laundering concerns the financial sector and thereby does not address the UN Global Compact, the focus of this paper is the link between anti-money laundering and the UN Global Compact. Furthermore, most research related to the UN global compact does not connect the core principles to the illegal financing of the businesses contradicting the principles. This paper addresses both of the neglected areas and combines them to improve the overall combating of money laundering while supporting the UN Global Compact sustainability goal.

Details

Journal of Money Laundering Control, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-5201

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Article

Jorge A. Arevalo and Francis T. Fallon

The changing nature of the interaction between multilateral institutions and the private sector, such as the one extended by the United Nations (UN) through the Global

Abstract

Purpose

The changing nature of the interaction between multilateral institutions and the private sector, such as the one extended by the United Nations (UN) through the Global Compact, has raised profound questions about authority and legitimacy in international relations. This paper seeks to provide the criteria for fairly assessing corporate citizenship initiatives as these form an integral part of the changing nature of corporate governance.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses the Global Compact's 2007 annual review as a point of reference and critical evaluation. The paper refers to the gap found among participants and their inability to answer to the relevant questions of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as originally set forth by the UN.

Findings

There has been a substantial increase in both scale and impact by this type of private sector initiative: a 50‐fold growth in just seven years – unlike any other international collaborative partnership. Based on the assessment, the ongoing question regarding its legitimacy, its operationality and efficiency for improving global governance still remains a challenge at large.

Originality/value

Empirical research on the impact, accountability, challenges and successes of the Global Compact is limited. The aim of this study is to progress understanding of both the limitations on, and opportunities for, the role of business in global governance when CSR is used as an international tool for community involvement. To this end, in addition to a critique of the UNGC's self‐assessment, the paper proposes a researcher's model for assessing corporate citizenship initiatives.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

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Book part

Alice de Jonge

The chapter aims to clarify the relationship between corporate governance structure and corporate subscription to Global Compact standards. Part one of the chapter looks…

Abstract

Purpose

The chapter aims to clarify the relationship between corporate governance structure and corporate subscription to Global Compact standards. Part one of the chapter looks at the relationship between different models of board governance and active Global Compact participation by publicly listed companies. Part two of the chapter examines a number of external mechanisms aimed at bringing corporate behavior in line with Global Compact principles, and argues that there is a mutually reinforcing relationship between internal governance structures and external provisions aimed at influencing corporate behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

Part one of the chapter uses an independent T-test to compare the average (mean) proportion of publicly listed companies from unitary board countries with an active Global Compact Communication on Progress status with the average proportion of publicly listed companies from two-tier/hybrid corporate governance systems listed as active Global Compact participants. Part two of the chapter uses primary and secondary sources to examine external mechanisms operating across national borders aimed at influencing corporate behavior.

Findings

The chapter finds that a higher proportion of public companies from countries with two-tier/hybrid corporate governance structures have become active Global Compact participants compared to public companies from legal systems with unitary board corporate governance structures. Part two of the chapter examines the potentially mutually reinforcing relationship between internal governance structures and external mechanisms for modifying corporate behavior.

Research limitations/implications

While external codes and standards such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises appear to be influencing corporate behavior worldwide, quantitative data confirming and recording the extent and nature of this influence (if any) remains limited.

Practical implications

The chapter provides useful insights for policy makers and corporate leaders into the relationship between internal corporate governance structures and external codes, standards and guidelines aimed at influencing corporate behavior.

Originality/value of the chapter

This chapter provides original insights into whether and how internal governance structures can complement and reinforce social standards regarding global corporate citizenship, and the legal guidelines reflecting those standards.

Details

The UN Global Compact: Fair Competition and Environmental and Labour Justice in International Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-295-1

Keywords

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Article

John Fraedrich, Othman Althawadi and Ramin Bagherzadeh

The continued rise of the multinational and debate as to what constitutes global business values is predicated on the UN Declaration and Global Business Compact. This…

Abstract

Purpose

The continued rise of the multinational and debate as to what constitutes global business values is predicated on the UN Declaration and Global Business Compact. This research suggests both documents explicitly exclude the existence of a foundational ethereal power creating morals thereby nullifying two thirds of the general population’s belief system. The authors argue against humanism as a global value beginning and suggest theism as a better origin and use the scientific method to introduce mathematical axioms supporting theism and complimenting humanism. Ontologically, the theist becomes a stronger base for the scientific inquiry into morals, values and business ethics. A comparison of major religious morals revealed eight factors: assurance; candor, fairness and honesty; character, integrity, truthfulness and exacting in truth; charity and compassion; environment; perseverance and tolerance; sacrifice; and seriousness. The research suggests that the UN documents do not adequately reflect these morals suggesting a change for businesses especially in Islamic regions.

Design/methodology/approach

A comprehensive review of religious materials emphasizing morals rather than customs, eternal entity description or negative behaviors yielded 1,243 morals and associated synonyms via six religions (Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism) representing 4.5 billion people. All positive morals were cross-referenced and only common items across all six religions were included. With the 29 common morals, the authors completed a word meaning search and did a second comparison that yielded 8 moral factors or constructs.

Findings

Eight moral factors were found to be common in all major religions (assurance, fairness/honesty, character/integrity, charity/compassion, environment, tolerance, sacrifice and seriousness). By using the scientific method (Axioms), the authors argue that theism is a better beginning to researching morals and values within business and marketing.

Social implications

Multinationals should be made aware of the disconnect between the underlying problems of the Global Business Compacts’ values and the global morals identified. The results suggest adopting a codification system based on the pertinent morals as related to economic theories: capitalism, socialism and theism. The use of theism as a base to business and marketing ethics includes billions of customers and employees and their belief systems that should increase the validity and reliability of actions associated with corporate social responsibility, the environment and best practices.

Originality/value

The UN Declaration and subsequent Global Business Compact are argued to be flawed by its exclusion of religious morals and the historical period in which it was created. By using the scientific method and creating two axioms, the base to all business and marketing ethics must shift to the common moral factors identified.

Details

Journal of Islamic Marketing, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-0833

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Article

Cubie L.L. Lau, Cliff D. Fisher, John F. Hulpke, William Aidan Kelly and Susanna Taylor

Essays on social responsibility call the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) “by far the world’s largest corporate responsibility initiative”. The authors look at two…

Abstract

Purpose

Essays on social responsibility call the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) “by far the world’s largest corporate responsibility initiative”. The authors look at two avenues to encourage responsible business behavior. First, at law, where law is not the answer and, second, at the UNGC. This paper aims to increase awareness of the UNGC, an umbrella organization supporting corporate good conduct.

Findings

The goal is to make corporations socially responsible. Law by nature addresses misconduct. The UNGC is more positive, encouraging responsible behavior in ten areas. The UNGC could be more effective. The authors suggest that social media and management education can help the UNGC positively impact corporate behavior.

Practical implications

The UNGC represents a significant opportunity. If the UNGC lives up to its potential, corporate misconduct may be lessened and corporate good behavior could be publicized, rewarded and increased.

Originality/value

The time has come to let readers start thinking about the UNGC and its goals. This can help bring greater social responsibility in tomorrow’s businesses.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

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Article

David Winfield Lockard

The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether the global policy on sustainability, United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), is in alignment with the complexity of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether the global policy on sustainability, United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), is in alignment with the complexity of the sustainability landscape utilizing complex adaptive system (CAS) theory and theory of change.

Design/methodology/approach

An original Complex Adaptive Policy System (CAPS) framework is used as a qualitative instrument with a constant comparison of 11 CAS themes in analyzing 117 UNGC speeches listed on the Global Compact Web site.

Findings

Although this study is intended as a preliminary study, the findings raise important questions regarding the long-term impact of the Global Compact as a global policy on sustainability.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of the study include the preliminary study design and limited source of information. Future research should include a comprehensive evaluation of the UNGC to yield specific recommendations for aligning policy with the landscape.

Originality/value

The study offers an original systems framework to evaluate public and private organizational polices on sustainability.

Details

Journal of Global Responsibility, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2041-2568

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Book part

Dinorah Frutos-Bencze

The chapter examines and describes the impact of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) environmental provisions and the UN Global Compact initiatives on…

Abstract

Purpose

The chapter examines and describes the impact of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) environmental provisions and the UN Global Compact initiatives on environmental sustainability of member countries at a national level and at a firm level.

Methodology/approach

Composite indexes (Human Development Index, Ecological Footprint Index, and Biocapacity) are used to determine CAFTA-DR country level sustainability. Firm level sustainability is based on a qualitative survey of companies using the Global Reporting Initiative framework and UN Global Compact participation.

Findings

Based on the methodology used CAFTA-DR member countries cannot be considered environmentally sustainable. Despite the lack of integration between initiatives proposed by different institutions, firm level sustainability trends are positive and encouraging.

Research limitations

Free access to Ecological Footprint and Biocapacity scores is limited. The research focused on surveying CAFTA-DR and UN Global Compact sustainability initiatives. However, there are many other entities and institutions not included in this research that also encourage sustainability.

Practical implications

The need of a concerted effort to align different organizations and institutions regarding sustainability initiatives in the CAFTA-DR region is apparent.

Originality/value

CAFTA-DR includes environmental provisions that are complementary to the UN Global Compact environmental principle. The synergies between these initiatives should be actively explored.

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