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Human Rights, United Nations Guiding Principles, Employee Attitudes, Employee Behaviors, Corporate Social Responsibility


Despite the presence of guiding legislation such as the United Nations Guiding Principles, respect for human rights is subject to the conscience of organizational actors. Given that some transnational corporations are more powerful than nation states, they play an important role in the economies in which they operate, often with far-reaching impact on the labor conditions and human rights protections within these countries. In the current global context, respect for human rights may be undermined when organizational decision-makers are tempted to ignore unethical practices due to considerations such as competition and short-term financial incentives. We propose that the higher standards to which younger generations increasingly hold corporations provide a compelling and “business case” incentive for the protection of human rights of external stakeholders by organizational decision-makers. Drawing on related research on corporate social responsibility and on projections regarding demographical changes in the workplace worldwide, we make the case for a bottom-line advantage to respecting human rights in attracting and retaining top talent in work organizations. We conclude by highlighting the theoretical and practical implications of our theorizing.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.