Onderzoeksproject game changer or business
Onderzoeksproject game changer or business

Game changer or business as usual? Understanding firm responses to mandatory human rights regulation

1 February 2024 until 1 February 2025
Project type

In response to serious accusations of firms violating human rights in their global operations, Western governments are now turning to mandatory regulation to legally force firms to comply with human rights regulations in their global supply chains. Given the decade long reliance on voluntary regulation, this is a drastic shift requiring significant changes within firms headquartered in many Western countries. So far, however, we know little about how precisely government regulation affects firms’ human rights policies and practices. 

Such knowledge is crucial to not miss the complex links and potential gaps between regulation and firm-level outcomes. Drawing on firm and stakeholder interviews as well as firm- and field-level documents, this project seeks to deliver insights into the process of how government regulation is translated into changes of firms’ human rights policies and practices as well as the firm-level dynamics underlying this process. Such insights promise theoretical innovation on firm-level dynamics and outcomes of government mandated human rights requirements, advancing our understanding of the role of government in transnational corporate responsibility and the governance of corporate human rights conduct in global supply chains. 

These insights can furthermore provide firms with best practices for how to incorporate new regulatory requirements and inform policy-makers and civil-society actors on the potential of mandatory regulation to tackle firms’ human rights violations in global supply chains.



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